What makes someone a revolutionary? Ivan, who comes from a village, cannot believe his eyes when he sees Petersburg's feudal palaces. But behind their façades, the wartime profiteers are celebrating. Suddenly, Ivan gets caught up in revolutionary circles; he is sent first to prison and then to the front. Amidst the horrors of the world war, he finally attains maturity. As an ardent Bolshevik, he participates in the storming of the Winter Palace: “Petersburg no longer exists!”
Only a short while before, Vsevolod Pudovkin had caused a sensation with MAT (The Mother). He had barely finished the film academy when a prestige project presented itself: he had the opportunity to make one of the jubilee films celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Revolution, alongside Eisenstein's intellectual OKTJABR (October). In 1927, both directors filmed mass scenes at the historical location almost simultaneously. In Pudovkin's film, however, far more of the Winter Palace’s windows were smashed… The rapid cuts, unusual perspectives and revolutionary pathos made him internationally famous as a director who filmed the Revolution. Central to his film were role models, faces of the Revolution and action that was easy to follow. As an author, director and actor, he became one of the most important figures at Mezhrabpom Film Studios.
Print courtesy of Filmmuseum im Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich
UDSSR 1927, 77 min
Wsewolod Pudowkin, Michail Doller