In 1926, the IAH proudly announced that the film was reporting “for the first time” on the personal lives of people under “the rapidly changing conditions in Russia”. Set in the guise a science-fiction film. The film was the first major foreign success arising from the co-operation between workers’ relief organisation Internationale Arbeiter-Hilfe (IAH) and the Moscow studio. An engineer and a Red Army soldier set off for Mars. The fantastic scenery used to depict the mysterious life found on Mars concealed the fact that the film was telling a turbulent story of love and jealousy occurring in everyday life in Moscow in 1924. The “here and now” of a young couple covertly imparted a great deal of realism. Lively and comical competitions, fought out between the clumsy detective (played by Igor Ilyinski, a star comedian at the time) and a cheerful Red Army soldier (Nikolay Batalov as a robust and endearing nature boy). A post-revolutionary science fiction film full of surprising turns.
Print courtesy of Gosfilmofond, Moscow
by Jakow Protasanow
with Julija Solnzewa, Walentina Kuindschi, Nikolai Zereteli