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Commentaries on this Media!

Class distinctions

by Kate Fortmueller

In the concluding sequence it is clear that Ellen is a poor match for Pavel - Nastia catches her kissing the Baron, Pavel's mother does not like her, and Ellen seems committed to maintaining her relationship with the Baron. However, this turmoil does not open up the possibility of a happy future for Nastia and Pavel - their class differences are too large to transcend.

This concluding sequence features many examples of Bauer's dynamic staging, as well as a shift in camera angle.  In one of the concluding scenes Bauer positions the camera at a high angle.  The frame is divided by a pillar and this angle allows us to see multiple simultaneous interactions.

Silent Witnesses (aka Nemye Svideteli) (1914) - End Sequence

In the concluding sequence of this film Nastia catches Ellen with the Baron and Pavel's mother expresses her dislike of Ellen, but ultimately none of this turmoil upends Pavel and Ellen's marriage plans. The film ends with Nastia crying.

from Silent Witnesses (1914)
Creator: Yevgeni Bauer
Distributor: Milestone Film & Video
Posted by Kate Fortmueller