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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 Sergei Eisenstein: Autobiography (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ignore the propaganda and appreciate the people
29 November 2006 | by netwallahSee all my reviews

Vertov eulogizes Lenin with an idealized view of Soviet progress. There are, indeed, three songs, or three musical movements. The first presents a woman's view of Lenin's legacy, beginning with the movement away from various forms of repression, the joy of women working, the new equality in field and factory. The second records the Soviet mourning for their leader. The third showcases progress, with the refrain if only Lenin could see his country now. With the exception of three or four spoken passages, this is built like a silent film to which a programmatic soundtrack has been added. There are actual songs, with titles furnishing the words, and sections of great music by Russian classical composers, and some music probably written for the film. The continuity comes through the songs and through several thematic sequences of images—there is no plot. The images are fascinating, showing the best side of Soviet culture, the variety of ethnicities, the joy of having enough to eat, the sense of sharing in a wonderful experiment, the determination to succeed, the unselfishness of many individuals, the idealism of the collective. There are thousands of shots of people, agriculture, industry, public works, parades, happy people, hardworking people, landscapes, and every sort of window into a vanished world. Of course it's propaganda. Of course there are essential elements of Soviet history omitted. Of course the very first sequences present the unveiling of Muslim women as a great stride toward liberty. Let the political scientists and historians investigate the significance of what is left out and what is presented in this partial view of life in the 1930s. But remember it was only sixteen years after the October revolution, and the progress the movie highlights did occur. Still, we don't have to accept the propagandistic aspect of the film. Neither do we have to reject the film out of hand because we think Communism is stupid, nor does it benefit anybody to heap ridicule upon it. Three Songs is a (partly) great movie because it shows irreplaceable real images of real people and of vanished technology and vanished historical places. Some of the photography is amazing, and the editing, timed rhythmically to match the music, is unusually good. Even the way the propagandistic themes are built is worth examining—we're all pretty much safe from its baleful influence these days.


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