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Baltic Deputy (1937)

Deputat Baltiki (original title)
A film based on the life of the Russian scientist, Klement Timiriazev, who taught at Cambridge and Oxford and was awarded the Newton Mantle for his work. Timiriazev, one of the few ... See full summary »
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Mariya Domashyova ...
Boris Livanov ...
Oleg Zhakov ...
Vikenti Mikhailovich Vorob'yov
Aleksandr Melnikov ...
Red guardsman Kupriyanov (as A. Melnikov)
Mikhail Dubrava
N. Kakharinov
A. Mazurin
Aleksei Matov
Fyodor Kurikhin ...
Doctor
Nikolai Nademsky
Stepan Kayukov
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Storyline

A film based on the life of the Russian scientist, Klement Timiriazev, who taught at Cambridge and Oxford and was awarded the Newton Mantle for his work. Timiriazev, one of the few outstanding Russian scientists who (publically) backed the Soviets in their revolutionary campaign, was later elected a delegate to the Leningrad Soviet by the sailors of the Baltic fleet. There he denounced his fellow scientists for failing to aid the Soviets and predicted that such aid would come. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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3 September 1937 (USA)  »

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Baltic Deputy  »

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1.37 : 1
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A Fresh Take on Soviet Film
1 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Baltic Deputy affords a largely unseen perspective on the 1917 Revolution: that of Dmitri Polezhaev, a scientist who–exceptionally–publicly advocated the Soviet ideal during the early days of Lenin's revolution. Although the plot of the film is often confusing, it is on the whole a very interesting and fresh portrayal of the struggle for communism against adversity. At no point in the film is its Soviet agenda unclear; Polezhaev is the clear protagonist–with science, truth, and the common man's best interests at heart. His adherents are kind and intelligent, and no visual or dialogue even so much as implies a clear motive for the actions of his detractors. Unlike many Soviet films, however, Baltic Deputy does not portray a group of underdogs or a simple folk hero, but rather an esteemed scientist and professor–a character who would usually appear as a villain–who must struggle against the group of intellectual elites to which he belongs. The central conflict, therefore, is not between the people and their monolithic, alien enemy, but between a man and his former colleagues. Its uniqueness gives Baltic Deputy interest. Like much other Soviet media, it champions working for the good of the people, condemns the bourgeois elite, and glorifies the work of revolutionaries, but it does so in a new way.

Baltic Deputy, however, is not perfect. The plot is often difficult to follow due to its convention of giving equal time and emphasis to all events, whether crucial or merely supportive and emotion is concentrated at awkward moments to force the party line. Polezhaev's call from Lenin, and his impassioned speech to the Petrograd Soviet are examples of critical scenes that emphasize the Soviet message, but are framed inadequately by emotionally dull transitions. Even considering its cinematic shortcomings, however, Baltic Deputy portrays a side of Soviet film that is often unseen, and worthy of recognition.


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