East-West Analysis

Topics: Alexander Nevsky, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn Pages: 3 (929 words) Published: August 18, 2011
The film East-West is set in Soviet Russia and follows the story of Alexei, Marie and their son Sergei who are invited back to “the motherland” by Joseph Stalin after WWII. Upon their arrival in Kiev, Marie’s French passport is destroyed and all of the émigrés are either killed or sent to Concentration camps as punishment for desertion during the war. Alexei, Marie and their son Sergei were spared, given Alexei’s value to the government as a doctor. Alexei, with the help of a French actress, Gabrielle, finds a way to free Marie by sending her to the French Embassy in Bulgaria with her reinstated passport, where she barely escapes after being pursued by guards at the checkpoint. Tension is the force that drives drama, but is the most difficult element to comprehend as it at times cannot be seen or touched. Dramatic tension can be created with tension tools such as: silence, music, gestures and slow motion. The extract from ‘East-West’, ‘Alexei’s Sacrifice’ uses a variety of tension tools as Alexei’s ten year plan for the escape of his wife and son from the communist Russian stronghold finally comes to fruition. Tension builds when the Golovin family gather in preparation for their impending escape. The silent goodbyes used in this scene create an energy of significance in relation to the risky events about to unfold. The scene is executed perfectly and subtle glances and facial expressions create an air of uncertainty as to the outcome. With the situation becoming more tense, the use of silence and cinematography effects (Graph point 12-21) such as short sharp screen shots from Marie to Alexei and Alexei to Gabrielle further heightens and increases tension. Other subtle aspects of dramatic tension are explored in the scene when Sergei initiates their departure by taking Marie’s hand. The camera zooms in on their hands. This symbolises their unity in the escape and highlights how Alexei will not be a part of the planned escape. As they proceed up the stairs, the...
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