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Three Songs About Lenin (1934)

Tri pesni o Lenine (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 6 November 1934 (USA)
Three anonymous songs about Lenin provide the basis for this documentary that celebrates the achievements of the Soviet Union and Lenin's role in creating them.

Director:

Dziga Vertov

Writer:

Dziga Vertov
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Cast

Credited cast:
Dolores Ibárruri Dolores Ibárruri ... Herself (archive footage)
Nadezhda Krupskaya Nadezhda Krupskaya ... Herself (with Lenin alive and dead, and at funeral) (archive footage)
V.I. Lenin ... Himself (speeches, with citizens, lying in state, funeral) (archive footage)
Joseph Stalin ... Himself (with Lenin as he lies in state) (archive footage)
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Storyline

Three anonymous songs about Lenin provide the basis for this documentary that celebrates the achievements of the Soviet Union and Lenin's role in creating them. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

6 November 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Three Songs About Lenin See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mezhrabpomfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft from which the parachutists jump (or perhaps they were pushed) towards the end of the film appears to be an ANT-14, Pravda. Only one was built and it was used by the Maxim Gorky propaganda squadron. See more »

Connections

Featured in Stalin (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Good Imagery & Photography, Otherwise Rather Disappointing
11 October 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

Despite the good imagery and photography, this Dziga Vertov feature, though often interesting, is in general rather a disappointment.

There are many fine features from the Soviet cinema of the 1920s and 1930s, in which the skill of film-makers like Eisenstein, Dovzhenko, Vertov himself, and others far outweighs any small doses of politically-mandated content. It is unfortunate that some very elegant films of that era are often described as propaganda pieces, when they actually have far too much depth for that label to be appropriate. All this is simply to say how unfortunate it is to have to point out that, indeed, "Three Songs of Lenin" might have been much, much better without the heavy-handed propaganda statements with which it is laced.

There's no reason in itself why a film praising Lenin could not still work as cinema, and indeed at least two of the three "songs" contain some worthwhile ideas. But the title cards and some of the dialogue simply go way too far in trying to build up Lenin's legacy, and it is not long before it gets to be too much. The lavish praises that the movie heaps upon him would be ridiculous even if they were being applied to Washington, Churchill, de Gaulle or any other world leader. No one leader deserves anything approaching that much credit for his country's successes, and no human leader or ruler deserves such unstinting and unqualified praise.

Vertov was a skilled and creative film-maker, as he proved in pictures such as "Man With a Movie Camera". And even here, there is plenty of good photography and other material to work with. A more restrained approach would have resulted in a much better film. It's still of interest to those interested in the era, and it does have some definite strengths; it's just not nearly as good as you could have hoped for it to be.


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