IMDb > The Last Bolshevik (1993)

The Last Bolshevik (1993) More at IMDbPro »Le tombeau d'Alexandre (original title)

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The Last Bolshevik -- Based on the life and work of the Russian film director Alexander Medvedkin (1900-1989), THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is a tribute from one filmmaker to another. An archeological expedition into film history that reveals new cinematic treasures, the film prompts a reflection on the relation between art and politics in the former Soviet Union. From Medvedkin's classic 1934 satire Happiness, and the 'film train' which he directed in the 1930s, to his sardonic comedies and bitter war newsreels, Chris Marker draws a panorama of the artistic, political, and moral universe of a life and a country, bringing it right up to date with his own vision of Russia today.


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Chris Marker (writer)
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This documentary tells the story of film director Aleksandr Medvedkin, throughout his life a sincere believer in communism... See more » | Add synopsis »
Chris Marker obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 30 July 2012, 4:05 PM, PDT)

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Film as collective memory See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Léonor Graser ... Dinosaur girl
Nikolai Izvolov ... Guest
Kira Paramonova ... Guest
Viktor Dyomin ... Guest (as Viktor Diomen)
Yuli Raizman ... Guest
Marina Kalasieva ... Guest
Aleksandr Medvedkin ... Himself (archive footage)
Lev Rochal ... Guest
Vladimir Dmitriev ... Guest (as Vladimir Dimitriev)
Antonina Pirojkova ... Guest
Albert Schulte ... Interviewee
Rhona Campbell ... Guest
Marina Goldovskaya ... Guest
Yakov Tolchan ... Guest
Sofia Prituliak ... Guest
Yuri Kolyada ... Guest
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jean-Claude Dauphin ... Voix (voice)
Michael Pennington ... Voice (voice: English version)
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Chris Marker 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Chris Marker  writer

Produced by
Michael Kustow .... producer
Cinematography by
Chris Marker 
Film Editing by
Chris Marker 
Camera and Electrical Department
Pascal Aubier .... photographer: additional footage
Marina Goldovskaya .... photographer: additional footage
Andrei Pashkevich .... second camera operator: Moscow
Music Department
Chris Marker .... composer: additional music (as Michel Krasna)
Other crew
Julia Bodin .... memory manager
Tony Bouilhet .... unspecified assistant
Sergei Nekipelov .... unspecified assistant
Françoise Widhoff .... production coordinator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Le tombeau d'Alexandre" - France (original title)
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120 min

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Film as collective memory, 14 May 2011
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

Chris Marker, again with a set of images to interrogate. About a Soviet director who believed in the collective dream, about the collective dream as shaped by cinema, and the peoples who grew despondent and fearful of it (though not of cinema).

The tools of this cinematic interrogation, which is fascinating in scope and layers, are what Marker and his friends were developing in the Left Bank some forty years ago. Even as the most blatant fabrication, the filmed image carries truths for him; the terrified look of an actor playing a muzhik in a propaganda film when faced with Soviet authority. Meaning something exists embedded in the frame itself, which we cannot wrestle away by removing context.

Marker carefully plants here some of the most erudite insights into the reality of cinema. We are told for example how the starving, raggedy workers in the collective farms turn en masse to enjoy propaganda films that portray them, the very same persons, as robust, content worker bees happily singing and laughing as they work the fields. How they walk away from this spectacle satisfied to have been entertained.

Old faces are interviewed for the sake of remembrance, to commemorate the enthusiasm of the revolution when trains converted as cinemas scoured the countryside to make films for the people, and the subsequent anxiety and horror. The odd ones who survived the purges, who turned from creators of events to mere spectactors or victims of them and who are merely a generation of relics now, with a head full of memories and perhaps a good story about Vertov to tell.

This is what Godard would be trying to do in the 90's, but the essay here is more precise and cutting, less about vague soliloquy and the camera and more about the people who perhaps held it at one time. I come out of this with the urge to see not any of Medvedkin's films, but more Marker.

-edit a few years later- Having now seen one of Medvedkin's films, Schastye, I have to say it's a masterpiece and you should seek it out.

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