Here is a documentary on the making of David Lean’s 1966 movie Dr. Zhivago. For years, I only saw brief excerpts of the movie on PBS as I was changing channels on the television. So until last week, I never saw the whole movie. Then I spied the DVD available in the library and I thought this is finally the time to watch the movie.
I loved Dr. Zhivago. It’s both an epic movie condemning both the Czarist government and totalitarian communism and it’s an intimate love story between Omar Shariff’s Dr. Zhivago and Julie Christie’s Lara. I felt sorry for Geraldine Chaplin’s character, the wife of Dr. Zhivago, and Lisa liked Geraldine Chaplin’s character better than Julie Christie’s character. At times it’s a bit melodramatic. But that didn’t bother me.
Because of the rise in authoritarian governments around the world, I’ve been very interested in watching movies about individuals who resisted authoritarianism. Dr. Zhivago was a stinging condemnation of authoritarian governments of both the Right (Czar Nicholas II’s oppressive government) and the Left (Lenin’s communist government). Boris Pasternak, the author of the book Dr. Zhivago, was part of a generation of artists and writers who were both critical of the Czar and grew disillusioned with the communists and were persecuted for maintaining their independent point of view. This generation included Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexander Blok, and Osip Mandelstam.
After watching Dr. Zhivago, I went and checked out David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Another great movie. If the library has A Passage to India, I’ll have to check out David Lean’s last movie.