White Bim, Black Ear

BBBB.5

(out of 5)

Original title:  Belyy Bim Chernoe ukho


One of the most endearing films you’ll ever see about the animal world. Ivan Ivanych is a war veteran and occasional writer who picks a puppy from a recently born litter of setters to take with him on hunting trips. Choosing the strange white runt who was going to be euthanized by his owner, the man and beast become one soul as Bim, the white dog with the one black ear, grows up to be a sensitive and intelligent pet who is devoted enough to cross miles of terrain in order to be with his master. This proves necessary when the man goes to hospital in Moscow for a heart problem and the residents who stay behind in his town to help take care of the animal are at turns exasperated, delighted and moved by how very keen their furry friend is to be reunited with his best pal.   The experiences that this pup undergoes in the impressive three hour running time affect a multitude of characters in many ways before the shattering climax; we see humanity from the point of view of an animal, and the view we get is at turns poetic, uplifting and devastatingly cruel. It’s a gorgeously felt tale, perfectly acted (especially by the canine star who is exceptionally well trained) and directed with immense sensitivity.


USSR, 1977

Directed by

Screenplay by Stanislav Rostotsky, based on the book by

Cinematography by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1978

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