The film chronicles the adventures of an American, "Mr. West," and his faithful bodyguard and servant Jeddie, as they visit the land of the horrible, evil Bolsheviks. Through various ...
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Sergei M. Eisenstein
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The film chronicles the adventures of an American, "Mr. West," and his faithful bodyguard and servant Jeddie, as they visit the land of the horrible, evil Bolsheviks. Through various mishaps, Mr. West discovers that the Soviets are actually quite remarkable people, and, by the end of the film, his opinion of them has changed to one of glowing admiration! Written by
Mark Toscano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Romp in the land of Surprisingly Heartwarming Propaganda
The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks will not ignite your passions, but it is sure to satisfy any humorous appetite as the naive Mr. West falls victim to deception after deception from a collection of crooks and rogues shortly after his arrival in Moscow. The film is a propaganda piece that aims for only two things: The glorification of the Bolshevik way of life, and an easily digestible story to ensure that this message is well received. It succeeds at both.
Mr. West, the symbol of the typical rich American (really, it's all in the name), knows little about the Bolsheviks. He can only rely on the unflattering depiction in the New York magazine: unkempt men adorned by large mustaches and wearing fur clothes suitable for a Neanderthal. It is no surprise that when Mr. West travels to Russia in accordance with his duties as President of the YMCA , he takes caution by bringing Jeddie, a loyal gun slinging 'cowboy' bodyguard, along for protection.
Throughout the film we see deliberate contrasts between the orderly soviet society of the Bolsheviks and the haphazard actions of the Americans that disrupt it. Jeddie lasso's the coachman of a horse and buggy and hijacks it causing a scene and an ensemble of police men to give chase. Mr. West's ignorance lands him into the clutches of thieves causing a stir at his workplace. The director is careful however, not to mock the Americans' other values, which include loyalty (Mr. West to his wife when tested by "the countess", and Jeddie to Mr. West), and a certain innocence. Without these, the film could never reach out to an American audience, and never win over their hearts and minds.
The Bolsheviks only truly shine when Mr. West is rescued from Zhban and his cohorts. He then is granted a tour of Moscow and views all the civic achievements of the new government, the processions, the radio tower, the workers attending to their duties in lockstep fashion.
When a pure and simple mind such as Mr. West's can marvel at the Bolshevik's good works, we too cannot help but agree that maybe the Bolshevik's weren't so bad after all.
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