Feb 9, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 32

Little is known in the west about the rise of the Bolsheviks. Really when looking back at my school education little was taught about the revolution in Russia, nor was there much focus on film history.

Battleship Potemkin tells the story of the early days of the revolt against the Tsar. Taking place on the navy ship of the film's namesake the crew mutinies against the tyrannical captain after some sailors were facing a firing squad for complaining about eating maggot filled meat.

The leader of the mutineers ends up dying during the ensuing battle and taken into port as a martyr. The people of the town rise up in defiance of their oppressors and protest the Tsar. The monarch's cavalry steps in to meet the protestors and a massacre ensues. The ship then leaves port to do battle with the rest of the navy, but I won't give the end away.

Battleship Potemkin is a silent film as well as foreign so most of you probably wouldn't give it a chance; however I would have to highly recommend it. Known mostly for being a pioneer in modern editing techniques the film is actually quite captivating in its imagery, suspense, and music. While the characters are slim and the translation used in the DVD was less than stellar I found myself loving this movie despite its numerous flaws. Sure it's about as subtle in its propaganda as a shotgun and as storytelling goes there are better early films, but as an historical piece it's fascinating.

Thanks to the person who submitted this film for review, whose name eludes me right now.

Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"If you are at all interested in the history of cinema, or the influence of 20th century politics on the medium, then this film is a must-see, although over an hour of Soviet propaganda is likely to test the patience of modern viewers." - Nick Hilditch


Anonymous said...

I love it when the film is from the USSR, its called propaganda, but when its from the USA, its called patriotic.

Miss Ash said...

I dig foreign films ... but silent...i'm not so sure I would enjoy.

whatigotsofar said...

If the film is silent, does it really matter what language they're speaking. Foreign films still have subtitles. To me, a foreign film or a silent film are pretty much the same thing. Its a movie that I have to read.