Pochta (1929)

POCHTA (1929)
aka Mail
Article 5309 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 11-29-2016
Directed by Mikhail Tsekhanovskii and N. Timofeev
No cast
Country: U.S.S.R.
What it is: Tribute to mailmen

A young boy mails a caterpillar to a man in Leningrad, but it is discovered that the recipient of the letter has left to go to Berlin. The letter than begins an around-the-world journey to try to catch up with its target.

I’m beginning to think that the Walt Lee guide added many of its animated movies to the list largely due to a certain innate non-reality inherent to the form. In terms of story, there isn’t really anything here that qualifies (except, perhaps, the impossibility of the survival of a caterpillar in an envelope making an around-the-world journey) as fantastic content, though I will admit that some of the striking imagery is highly stylized. Setting aside this issue, though, I do have to admit that I found myself quite charmed by this animated short; the imagery is striking and entertaining, the story has a certain wit, and the Soviet propaganda is on the good-humored side in its celebration of the dedication of the common worker. Incidentally, I had to watch this one twice; the first copy I found on YouTube was nearly impenetrable, but I almost immediately found another one with English subtitles to help me get the gist of it.

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