Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Pjatiletije sowjetskoi Rossii

Five Years of Soviet Russia

Fünf Jahre Sowjetrussland

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This film, commissioned by the workers’ relief organisation Internationale Arbeiter-Hilfe (IAH), was one of the very first films from and about the Soviet Union to be shown in Germany after the war. It was an early jubilee film, showing parades on the Red Square, as well as Trotsky and Willi Muenzenberg (IAH) at the 1922 Comintern Congress. – A rare document of contemporary history.
For the Berlin premiere in 1923, the International Press Correspondence of the Communist International wrote: “This is the first film to directly familiarise the international working class with the lives and struggles of the Russian proletariat and, above all, with the Russian Red Army. It is not an art film. It contains neither artificial scenes, nor extras. Nor were any artists won over for this production. Instead, the viewer encounters Russian life and the thunder of the Russian Revolution in all their elementary force throughout the film. “In the end, the German censors decided not to classify the film as a threat to public order. The German Foreign Office was quite contented that “in the current situation” the film showed “that Russia meant something at a military level again”. The German Reichswehr, which was prohibited at the time, was secretly co-operating with the Red Army.

Print courtesy of The Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive, Krasnogorsk

UDSSR 1922, 45 min