In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ...
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In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
100.000.000 peasants - illiterate, poor, hungry. There comes a day when one woman decides that she can live old life no longer. Using ways of new Soviet state and industrial progress she changes life and labor of her village.
Sergei M. Eisenstein
In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the... See full summary »
In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in November of that year. Lenin returns in April. In July, counter-revolutionaries put down a spontaneous revolt, and Lenin's arrest is ordered. By late October, the Bolsheviks are ready to strike: ten days will shake the world. While the Mensheviks vacillate, an advance guard infiltrates the palace. Anatov-Oveyenko leads the attack and signs the proclamation dissolving the provisional government. Written by
This story of the October Revolution in 1917 Russia really moves along. It's never boring. The images are innovative enough to be startling at times.
Here we are introduced to Kerenskiy, head of the provisional government that took over after the, er, downfall of Tsar Nicholas. Actually, I gather that, as in most cases of revolution, everything was confused and there were actually a series of mutinies, protests, violent demonstrations, and all the rest of that sad lot until the Bolsheviks finally won and established a communist state.
What a visual pageant! We first see Kerenskiy, who is one of the villains of the piece, in close up, his face lowered, wearing the sinister grin of an alligator. Then, BANG, and he and his cronies are intercut with shots of a bronze peacock, jerkily lifting its head, looking around, and spreading the feathers of his magnificent tail. We get the picture, so to speak. If we don't -- not to worry. Eisenstein a bit later gives us a shot of Kerenskiy standing with his arms folded, a frown on his features. Then a cut to a statue of Napoleon in exactly the same pose.
Do we have any doubt about a particular general? The doubt is resolved when we witness an ornate statue of the former emperor, once torn apart, now being reassembled by running the film backward so that, piece by piece, the hated Tsar turns whole again.
At about the half-way mark a fuse blew in my brain and I was overcome by bafflement. I lost track of who was who because I don't know enough about the Russian revolutions. Figures blended into one another. Red Russians and White Russian morphed into Pink Russians. "TURNCOATS!" screams the title card. Turncoats against whom or against what? Here comes General Kirinov on his white steed. Should I applaud or boo? I know I'm supposed to be doing one thing or the other because, besides being a treat for the eyes -- man, is this propaganda. I suppose it ends with the victory of the Bolsheviks and the establishment of a communist state based on the theories of Karl Marx, who never visited Russia himself. I wonder if the audience of 1928 would have cheered as loudly if they could have foreseen the years under Stalin, who may have been responsible for more Russian deaths, pointless deaths, than Hitler?
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