This fascinating documentary opens a window on the life and milieu of the great Russian-born silent actor Ivan Mosjoukine. A cross between John Barrymore, Valentino and Chaplin, he dominated Russian movies. Moving to Paris to work with L'Herbier when the Bolsheviks took power, his star soared on, before his rejection of the role of Napoleon for Gance, a fizzled relationship with Laemmle in Hollywood, and the long slow decline. The commentary offers no deep analysis, but the footage and ample documentation speak for themselves. Renoir, having watched Mosjoukine in Blazing Fire, decided cinema was to be his passion.
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