“This is Moscow speaking! We want metal!” Afanassjev, a young worker, and his comrades in the Komsomol youth organisation hear the call. In next to no time, they build the Magnitorgorsk Combine in the steppes from scratch. The combine then supplies the ore – the raw material for the turbo-industrialisation of the Soviet Union.
Joris Ivens, from Holland, was commissioned by Mezhrabpom-Film to make this documentary symphony in the style of the New Objectivity. The music was composed of the noises made by the Magnitogorsk Combine, working in co-operation with Hanns Eisler. They thus created a genuine industrial soundtrack for one of the very first Soviet sound-film documentaries. At the same time, Dziga Vertov made a similar sound-film, TRI PESNI O LENINE (Three Songs of Lenin) for the studio. Both experimented with the new medium, although Ivens adopted a different approach. Applying motifs of the steppes and the city, the past and the future, he staged and condensed situations, with the aim of convincing viewers dialectically of the need for all the colossal construction work. The remixing of modern tones – factory noises, telephones, radios and Eisler's exciting music – is particularly successful.
Print courtesy of Bundesarchiv-Filmarchiv, Berlin