The Russian Revolution Through its Films

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Arts Documentary hosted by Virginie Efira, published by Arte in 2017 - English narration

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This documentary covers the Russian Revolution through images from Soviet fiction films from 1918 to 1934. It presents the political utopia in which creative freedom is a driving force, living in the shadow of authoritarian power that will sweep through the world of film and the rest of society. Russia disrupts the beginning of the twentieth century with two revolutions. One is political, the second is artistic. On May 1, 1918, just months after the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution, tens of thousands of people packed frantically to Red Square in Moscow to attend the open-air screening of the first film directed by the Russian futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. The cinema is nationalized, free screenings are organized everywhere in the immense USSR thanks to trains and barges. Millions of men and women discover the reflection of their lives refracted and refined by the prism of the big screen and fiction. This second revolution, the cinematographic revolution, goes beyond borders. At the improbable crossroads between codes of Hollywood and daily reality of the USSR, the directors made films with few means but with an astonishing freedom, seizing passionately this new art to reflect a world in the process of being born. The history of Soviet cinema of that time is intimately linked to the history of the revolution. Making a fiction film between 1918 and 1934 in the USSR is above all a political act. These directors are actors in history. They fight together for a social and creative utopia. In 1929, when a new era was opening up thanks to the sound technique, the Stalinist government ordered Commissioner Boris Shumyatsky to bring the filmmakers to heel. The two decades following the Russian revolution are marked by a group of young people who profoundly influenced Russian Cinema. This artistic revolution was led by directors, actors, technicians and poets. They are the characters and voices of our film. The Soviet actress, Ada Voistik, and her friends tell us the story of this unique period, through the images of Soviet fictional works produced between 1917 and 1934. We can catch a glimpse of their fight for a new society, where creative freedom was of utmost importance. A utopia which will be brought down by an authoritarian power impacting cinema as much as the rest of society. Told by Ada Voitsik, a young actress born with the century, who got her first big role in 1927, this journey through young Soviet cinema, silent for the most part, is based first on the dazzling images shot then. Director Emmanuel Hamon accompanies the footage with a witty and fluid commentary, which mixes Ada's fictional reflections and the testimonies left by Mayakovski, Kuleshov or Vertov. Whether or not we know the works he brings to life, their effect of surprise remains intact: the modernity, freedom and creativity of this "utopia of images", carried by the faith and talent of a generation, telling the reality of the world and history, poignantly retracing all the stages of a confiscated revolution. The documentary follows the trajectories of 5 iconic protagonists and gives them a voice: The poet Vladimir Mayakovski, the filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, a pioneer of the new generation, Boris Barnet, Sergei Eisenstein and the obscure Siberian civil servant Boris Shumyatsky. Directed by Emmanuel Hamon ; Produced by Les Poissons Volants and ARTE France

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Video Codec: x264 CABAC [email protected]
Video Bitrate: 4 000 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: AAC (LC)
Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s VBR 44.1 kHz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 53 min 14 s
Number Of Parts: 1
Part Size: 1.47 GB
Source: WEB DL
Capper: DocFreak08

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