Part science fiction, part class struggle – dreams and nightmares involving machines: Russian-style.
To be on the safe side, this politically explosive issue is “relocated abroad”. Jim Ripple, an engineer, invents robots controlled by saxophones and radio signals. As far as the capitalists are concerned, this is the “solution to the proletarian problem”, and they immediately hit on the idea of creating an army of emotionless fighting machines. Jim's brother Jack is a workers' leader and organises strikes against the robots, who will produce nothing but unemployment. The humanoid machines are set on the strikers, but the workers fight back …
Karel Čapek, a Czech, coined the term ‘robot’ in 1921. A few years after the appearance of Maria, the humanoid machine in METROPOLIS, and before Hollywood began deploying robots that would destroy the world, Mezhrabpom (in 1935) presented a menacing army of machines that operated between the fronts in the class struggle. Aleksandr Andriyevsky staged this ever-relevant subject with unprecedented expense and effort. He used the most modern technology – including television broadcasts. The closure of the Moscow film studio prevented this masterpiece from reaching an even larger audience.
Print courtesy of Gosfilmofond, Moscow