Aelita - Der Flug zum Mars
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
USSR 1924 101’