Hans Matheson in Doctor Zhivago

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Hans Matheson in Doctor Zhivago

I actually remember there being a big deal at The Oscars back in the day about a movie called Doctor Zhivago. I guess I always assumed Dr. Zhivago was some kind of boring adventure story.

The most famous [Dr. Zhivago film] by far is the 1965 adaptation by David Lean, starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. The film was a huge box-office hit and won several Oscars but was panned by critics; now, however, it is widely considered to be a classic film. The film is faithful to the book in a general sense, with no significant deviations from the general storyline; however, the depictions of several characters and events are noticeably different. wikipedia

I started watching Dr. Zhivago on PBS a couple of nights ago because of Hans Matheson. I was definitely not expecting Dr Zhivago to be another 1900. The movie 1900 starring Robert DeNiro is to Italy in the 1900's what Dr. Zhivago is to Russia in the 1900's. After what seemed like hours of people being killed and abused in Dr. Zhivago, there was a display of the year and, the story hadn't even gotten to World War II yet.

The movie 1900 showed the kind of abuse that the poor in Italy endured at the hands of the rich. Dr. Zhivago shows the kind of abuse the Russian people endured as a result of revolution and civil war in Russia. As I said, most of Dr. Zhivago seems to take place PRIOR TO World War II and, World War II wasn't exactly "a cake walk" for the Russian people.

Zhivago's idealism and principles stand in brutal contrast to the horrors of World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the subsequent Russian Civil War. A large theme of the book is how the mysticism of things and idealism is destroyed by both the Bolsheviks, Rebels and the white army. Yuri must witness cannibalism, dismemberment, and other horrors suffered by the innocent civilian population during the turmoil. Even the love of his life, Lara (whose full name is Larissa Feodorovna), is taken from him. wikipedia

Basically, Hans Matheson plays Dr. Zhivago. Dr. Zhivago is married with a child but he falls in love with a woman who is his nurse while he works on soldiers during World War I. Most of the story is about Dr. Zhivago trying to get back to his mistress amid the political turmoil going on in Russia. The story shows the kind of relentless horror that I thought was strickly a recent American thing.

There is a scene in Dr. Zhivago in which a young political prisoner is freed and the joyous prisoner starts running home through this big "open area" home. I remember thinking immediately that if this was an American movie, that prisioner would get shot in the back. Well, as soon as I had the thought, the prisoner was in fact shot in the back.

There is no happy ending to Dr. Zhivago. In fact, the ending of Dr. Zhivago is probably like having been shot about 10 times and to then have the guy who shot you stab you a couple of times just for fun.

And, of course, as horrible as the story of Dr. Zhivago is to watch, the ultimate horror really is that real people lived this story. According to legend, Stalin killed 20 million Russians, I'm just not clear if Stalin did all of that after WWII or during his rise to power before WWII. It appears that some of the Dr. Zhivago story might take place while Stalin (or Stalin's political party) was rising to power.

The version of Dr. Zhivago with Hans Matheson was a Britich production.

Doctor Zhivago is also a mini-series with Hans Matheson, Keira Knightley, and Sam Neill, first appearing on the British ITV network in November 2002, and Masterpiece Theatre in the United States in November 2003.

AS A BLACK MAN, watching the movie 1900 and the movie Dr. Zhivago goes a long way toward explaining racism in America. I mean, when these horribly abused fuckers from Ireland, Italy, Russia etc arrived in America, what else Could anyone have expected the abused fuckers to do other than to just turn around and look for someone to abuse.

If you accept as a "given" that abused fuckers eventually turn out to be abusers, you have to question the logic of allowing a country to continue to exist when that county is comprised largely of horribly abused aholes from Europe. And, let's not even start on the logic of the world allowing these abused asholes to develop nuclear weapons.