Close Up

2 January 2016: Strike


Sergei Eisenstein
1925 | 82 min | B/W | 35mm

"Eisenstein’s first film follows the progress of a workers’ strike at a factory in pre-Revolutionary Russia from worker dissatisfaction and organization to a violent denouement. True to Eisenstein’s ideological resistance to the reliance on heroic individuals in mainstream cinema, the focus shifts among a number of groups: provocateurs, strikebreaking troops, an arrogant ruling class and of course the workers themselves. To keep his lesson in the rise of the proletariat entertaining, Eisenstein utilizes all number of attention-getting devices or 'attractions' – physical action, heart-tugging melodrama, comic and grotesque exaggeration. Thus, Strike not only announces Eisenstein as a master of montage, it also serves as a valentine to his beloved forms of popular theater: the circus and the music hall." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Sergei Eisenstein season