• Glenn Wilson
    Rancho Santa Clara Al: A few days ago we watched Dr. Zhivago on Amazon Prime, a three-and-a-half hour whale of a movie that calls for at least two bags of popcorn and multiple trips to the bathroom. Omar Sharif, as Zhivago, was at the height of his hottie-ness when the movie was made 55 years ago. That far back I probably was too, and unlike Omar, I'm still alive. A perpetually swooning Julie Christie, who played Lara, didn't look too shabby either.

    What really struck me about Zhivago were the brief vignettes about life under early Bolshevik social engineering, including the attempt to solve the shortage of housing, and achieve instant economic equality, by confiscating private homes and, overnight, converting them into public housing for the proletariat. The transitions were overseen by some local schmuck, suddenly promoted to revolutionary avatar ever-ready to spout Communist one-liners and threaten anyone who voiced any doubts.

    Dr. Zhivago's author, Boris Pasternak, initially sympathized with the egalitarian goals of the Bolshevik revolution, but turned sharply away from them later in his life. The Soviet government, ever vigilant against any "fake news," banned the publication of Dr. Zhivago at home and kept Pasternak from accepting the 1958 Nobel Prize for Literature. The book ultimately was published in Italy.

    Continue reading at Life at Rancho Santa Clara: Dr. Zhivago visits Havana and feels at home. More #RanchoSantaClara.

    More in the category Art, Literature, Museums, Music, and Theaters.

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