In 1907, the Russian authorities learn that a revolutionary known as 'Granddad' is living in hiding with his brother. The revolutionary is soon arrested and sent to Siberia. After ten years... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ivane Perestiani ...
'Granddad', an old revolutionary
Vladimir Strizhevsky ...
Revolutionary's son
Zoya Barantsevich ...
Revolutionary's daughter
Mikhail Stalski ...
Dying prisoner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
K. Askochenski
Vasiliy Ilyin
Konstantin Zubov
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Storyline

In 1907, the Russian authorities learn that a revolutionary known as 'Granddad' is living in hiding with his brother. The revolutionary is soon arrested and sent to Siberia. After ten years of struggling to survive in harsh conditions, he is finally released when the Tsarist government is overthrown in February 1917. He is welcomed home as a hero, but he soon finds that even his own son has different views than he does about the future of Russia. Written by Snow Leopard

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Short | Drama

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3 April 1917 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Revolutionary  »

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Only Fair As a Movie, But Interesting As a Piece of History
12 July 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

As a movie, this is only a fair effort, at least by Yevgeni Bauer's high standards. But as a piece of history, it is quite interesting. It is one of a very few significant cultural works that survive from the period between the two revolutions in Russia in 1917, since it was made after the Tsar was overthrown in February, but before the Provisional Government was itself overthrown by the Bolsheviks in the fall. Moreover, its perspective and story are clearly drawn from the way that things stood in the days of the Provisional Government.

The story itself centers on the character of "The Revolutionary", known only as 'Granddad'. Exiled to Siberia by the Tsarist police, he returns when the Tsarist government is overthrown, and he immediately throws himself right into the questions of the day. Of particular importance (in the movie and at the time) is the question of whether Russia should continue to fight the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary.

It's really an interesting setup in itself, but Bauer is uncharacteristically formulaic in crafting and in telling the story. The first half or so works well enough, but then it becomes too simplistic, even predictable. Because Bauer's melodramas about psychological obsessions and doomed relationships are so deep and haunting, it's possible that his other movies just create expectations for this one that are too high. If it had been made by a less exceptional film-maker, it might not be such a disappointment.

As it is, there are still some very good Bauer touches. Many of the compositions are nicely conceived, and there are effective moments, such as 'Granddad' reading graffiti on the prison wall, or two engaging little dogs playing in the snow while 'Granddad' comforts a dying convict.

It is as a piece of history, though, that this is most worth seeing. Bauer's views about the decisions facing Russia come across very clearly, and his portrayal of Russia under the Provisional Government, while obviously based on his own beliefs, is still one of the very few such contemporary records, fictional or otherwise. So despite its faults as a movie, "The Revolutionary" is still interesting, as a product of a very unusual time and place in history.


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