“You look after your son. It’s all his doing.”
After her husband (Aleksandr Chistyakov) is killed in a brawl, a mother (Vera Baranovskaya) in 1905 Russia accidentally condemns her activist son (Nikolay Batalov) to prison, and has a change of heart about the need for a labor strike.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Labor Movement
- Russian Films
- Silent Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “classic film of the Russian cinema, directed by V.I. Pudovkin from Maxim Gorky’s novel,” is “rare among the Russian silent films in that it stresses character as much as technique” and “it uses montage and character placement for the purpose of expressing individual characters’ emotions.” He adds that the “picture has extraordinary visuals, all used for thematic purposes,” and “while the acting is good, it is Pudovkin’s montages that let us know what these characters are thinking.” In his review, Peary gives away all elements of the plot from beginning to end, so I won’t say more other than to add that this was the first of Pudovkin’s three “revolutionary films,” with the other two — The End of St. Petersburg (1927) and Storm Over Asia (1928) — listed in the back of his book; I’ll be reviewing those shortly.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Highly expressive cinematography and montage
No, but it’s worth a look and of course will be of interest to fans of early Soviet cinema.