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Issue #1779      May 31, 2017

Film review


Before there was Battleship Potemkin Sergei Eisenstein directed his first feature-length film, 1925’s Strike/Stachka. One of the most stunning cinematic debuts in movie history, the 82-minute Strike brought the radical stage techniques of Vsevolod Meyerhold and the Proletcult Theatre to the screen to tell the stirring story of a 1903 workers’ walkout at a Moscow factory.

The striking proletarians’ demands include wage hikes, the 8-hour day – only 6 hours for children! – and more. Using powerful imagery and the “montage of associations,” Eisenstein vividly, viscerally depicts class struggle, pitting the collective mass hero against the capitalists, their spies and police. Using eye-popping movie metaphors, Eisenstein portrays the czarist regime’s savage brutality with a gripping grand finale that’s like getting punched in the face.

Strike was screened at the Los Angeles Workers Centre as part of a monthly film series, “Ten Films That Shook the World: A Cinematic Centennial Celebration of the Russian Revolution,” running through November 2017 to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia, and 1905s mass uprisings.

People’s World

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