The Russian Revolution (1917) led to the breakup of the old Tsarist Russian Empire, to independence movements in areas inhabited by various ethnic minorities (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, etc.), and to a large-scale Civil War between the Red (Communist) Army and the White (Anti-Communist) Army. In other words, sheer chaos, very much like that experienced by Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In this chaos, various territories, such as Azerbaijan, were occupied at various times by German, Turkish, and British troops, the latter motivated by Soviet Russia's withdrawal from WW1 against Germany. This film presents a very "orthodox," even Stalinist interpretation of the traumatic events around the oil-rich city of Baku in 1918, in which (no surprise) the real villains are portrayed as certain leftist Russian politicians (played by Zharov, Savchenko, etc.) who were opposed to the Communists. Again (no surprise), the Communists ("Bolsheviks") and their supporters (played by Gasanov, Klyukvin, Morskoy...
Prof Steven P Hill, University of Illinois (USA).