ⓘ Forest Story, also known as Forest Life, is a 1927 silent film, based upon a story by Mikhas Charot. It has been described as a Civil War drama romance, set in ..

Forest Story

ⓘ Forest Story

Forest Story, also known as Forest Life, is a 1927 silent film, based upon a story by Mikhas Charot. It has been described as" a Civil War drama romance, set in Belorussia and focuses on the Bolshevik struggle against the Poles. It was directed by Yuri_Tarich Yuri Tarich, who some consider" the father of Belarusian cinema,” and was the first Belgoskino film to be released.


1. Plot

Polish troops are encamped on the estate of Drabsky, a member of the landed gentry. Under the command of Colonel Yazstremski, the troops are ordered to arrest all suspicious looking characters. In the field, the old shepherd, Grishki, calls on his 20 something year old son, Grishka, to help conduct the Bolshevik, Stephan, to the blacksmith, Andre. With help from Drabskys overseer, Kaziuk, the troops find and catch Stephan. And when Grishka flees to the farm of the father of his girlfriend, Gelka. But the troops follow and Grishka, Gelka and the father are arrested. They are eventually freed, but Gelka is forced to work for Drabsky.

Guerillas prepare a proclamation reminding the peasants that they should support each other. Kaziuk, who learns about the proclamation, informs Polish troops who arrest those they find with proclamations. Some of those arrested are eventually shot.

Gelka, working in Drabskys manor, finds a map with locations of other Polish troops. She steals it and jumps from a second floor window to the ground and runs away.

Guerillas, dressed in Polish uniforms, free the surviving arrestees. They fight and overcome the Polish troops on Drabskys estate, and corner Yazstremski. The scene ends before the viewer finds out what happens to Yazstremski.

Partisans take on troops in a nearby village. As troops advance towards the barricade of the guerillas, Grishka throws a hand grenade at the troops, and runs away. As he jumps on a horse to ride away, Kaziuk spots Grishka and shoots, wounding him. Kaziuk ties up an unconscious Grishka and throws him in a cart, planning to take him to Polish-occupied Minsk. But Grishka awakens, unties himself, and escapes. Back in the village, just the Polish troops appear to be ready to overwhelm the partisans, Gelka arrives, bringing the Red Cavalry with her.

Partisans and troops enter Minsk. It is July 11, the day of the citys liberation. As soldiers chase off the Polish troops, Grishka, Gelka, and others meet at Red Headquarters. As the movie ends, Gelka looks lovingly at Grishka, who tries to not notice because he is standing guard.


2. Cast

  • T. Kotelnikova as Gelka
  • Leonid Danilov as Grishka
  • L. Dedintsev as Yazstremski
  • Mstislav Kotelnikov as Stepan
  • N. Amenev as Drabsky
  • Vladimir Korsh as Adjutant

3. Reviews

Summaries of the reviews are listed in A Catalog of All Belarusian Films, 1926-1976, by Igor Avdeev and Larissa Zaritsa. They range from lukewarm to positive. Some complain about a lack of authenticity, but others laud it as an outstanding beginning of Belarusian cinema.

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