The 1917 Bolshevik Revolution was a direct outcome of Russia’s disastrous participation in World War I. For the tenth anniversary of the Revolution, Vsevolod Pudovkin fashioned a drama that outlines the fall of Tsarist Russia by following the fortunes of a peasant-turned-factory worker through the turbulent 1910s. Pudovkin’s protagonist is swept by corruption and cruelty from steppe to factory to battlefront. Pudovkin himself fought in the war, was wounded and was held prisoner for three years by the Germans. Out of these experiences he drew the fury that characterizes the film’s scenes of combat, which are intercut with scenes of industrialists growing rich off the fighting.
Live musical accompaniment by Robert Humphreville