Film: 8976

Places + Locations | 1960 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A film which essentially focuses on the effect of communism on the countries through which the River Danube flows. Shot of the wide Danube in a deep valley. Stream flowing through the Black Forest in Germany, Europe, this is said to be the source of the River Danube. Consecutive shots showing how the river widens as it gets further away from its source: river flowing through meadow, village, town and past a monument on a hill top. Shot of the wide Danube in Austria, Europe. Shots of a street scene in Vienna, Austria, Europe: trams, cars and a large building in the classical style in the background. Various statues and a shot of a large palace.
The Danube in Hungary, Europe. Ducks on its banks. Shots of Budapest, Hungary, Europe from high vantage points within the city. Budapest street scene: people crossing street, truck on road. Danube with a wide sandy bank. Shots of the Great Hungarian Plain in Hungary. Very flat and featureless with cattle grazing in the middle distance (said to be similar to the Praires of North America). Views of Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Europe and a street scene. River Danube passing through great mountain gorge known as the Iron Gates: wide river with mountains on either side. Small steam boat on river. The river flowing along the border between Bulgaria, Europe and Romania, Europe. Shot of the river in the then Soviet Union and then the delta that it forms as it flows into the Black Sea. General shots of the river in the various countries through which it flows. Map of Europe with line showing the course of the River Danube. Mountains that flank the Danube are identified on the map: Austrian Alps, Carpathians, Transylvanian Alps, Mountains of Yugoslavia, Balkan Range. Tributaries to the Danube indicated as are the raw materials that come from the regions around it: coal, iron ore, copper, timber and bauxite. History of the region is discussed with the map as a visual aid. History begins with the Roman Empire and ends with the imposition of communism in the region. It necessarily includes the invasions by Slavs, Bulgars and Huns as well as the Turks and the subsequent Hapsburg Empire and the Nazis (a very efficient description of this volatile region). Austria: shots of green valleys with mountains in the background. Farmers working in the fields of Austria. One is raking hay, another driving a tractor. Street scene (possibly Vienna): 'Espresso Mounler Bar' in foregrgound with people walking past. More street scenes: cars, a horse drawn carriage and a Martini bill board advertisement. This is the West. At the Austrian border with Hungary a sign with a skull and cross bones states: 'HALT! VERMINT!'. Shots that follow include high barbed wire fences and look out posts. The Plains of Hungary: corn being grown on the banks of the Danube. Golden fields of wheat. Market in a Hungarian village: fruit is laid out on the street, people sitting next to their wares. Men harvesting with scythes (in the traditional way). This method of farming is compared with the more effective method introduced by communist collective farming: beef cattle in fenced off area in large farm, a farm comittee composed entirely of men sitting around a table engaged in discussion, large hay stacks, men shovelling fertiliser on to fields from carts drawn by oxen, fertiliser being poured by the bucket full into the hold of a small airplane. The same aircraft spreading fertililser over the collective farm's fields, corn being harvested with the use of a tractor and machine in Bulgaria, women and an old man sorting grapes into crates. Man feeding beef cattle in a farm yard. Old style combine harvester towed by tractor harvesting wheat. Corn being prepared by hand by peasants on a mountain farm (very primitive). Sheep grazing. Logging in northern Yugoslavia: men rolling logs and splitting them with axes. Fishing boat (with odd looking sails) on the Danube. Dead sturgeon being pulled out of a boat on to quay by fishermen of the Danube Delta region. Shots of tall reeds growing along the banks of the river in the delta region, enormous bundles of reeds being stacked together. Man in traditional costume on horse back herding horses. Women weaving on the banks of the River Danube. Soviet Russian flags, a large red star, images of communist leaders (including Stalin) beneath which people play a ball game. Group of young men exercise in unison in shorts and vests outside. Market (aerial view), factories, industrial areas in the Danube valley. People leaving a factory in communist region. People crossing road in busy city. People getting on to trams in busy city (could be Budapest). Housing blocks (illustrating the housing problem), cranes involved in construction of housing blocks (high rise flats). Chemistry being taught in classroom. Men carring two very long flexible pipes in Budapest. Three people hoeing beneath tower blocks. Ends with views of cities and countryside on the banks of the River Danube.


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