The Steppe The Steppe

Based on a Anton Chekhov short story, this slight tale has some good moments as the drama of a young boy's journey unfolds. The lad comes from peasant stock, and one day his family decides it would be best for him to go live with his uncle in the city. The only problem is that the city is all the way across the Russian steppes, and at this time in history, that arduous journey could only be undertaken by horse and carriage. Reminiscent of the American pioneer wagon trains heading West, the tale lacks any attacks from hostile forces but is filled with charming vignettes. In one part of the journey, the boy comes across some fishermen along a river, harpooning their catch for the day. In another segment, he is entertained when some folk dancers do a lively show. But in general, it is too long and unmomentous a journey to hold attention well for nearly two hours.

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