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Mother
(Mat)

Screening on Film
Directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin.
With Vera Baranovskaya, Nicolai Batalov, A.P. Chistiakov.
USSR, 1926, 35mm, black & white, silent, 90 min.
With music track. Russian intertitles with English subtitles.

In the wake of the unsuccessful 1905 revolution in Russia, Maxim Gorky wrote the novel The Mother, detailing the radicalization of a proletariat woman as her son becomes politically active. This adaptation of that novel is the first film in Pudovkin’s “Bolshevik trilogy,” and it became the second Soviet film, after Potemkin, to receive international acclaim. Pudovkin realized the importance of editing for making meaning in cinema as surely as Eisenstein did. But since he was also intensely interested in acting, Pudovkin tailors his editing to bring out the nuances of the performances of his actors. Mother remains a powerful example of melodrama yoked to ideological didacticism. Accompanied by the score composed for the film by Tkhon Khrennikov.

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