Storm Over Asia (1928) Vsevolod Pudovkin

Storm Over Asia 1928 poster

In 1918 a simple Mongolian herdsman escapes to the hills after brawling with a western capitalist fur trader who cheats him. In 1920 he helps the partisans fight for the Soviets against the occupying army. However he is captured when the army tries to requisition cattle from the herdsmen at the same time as the commandant meets with the reincarnated Grand Lama. After being shot, the army discovers an amulet that suggests he was a direct descendant of Genghis Khan. They find him still alive, so the army restores his health and plans to use him as the head of a Mongolian puppet regime.

The New Babylon (1929) Grigoriy Kozintsev, Leonid Trauberg

The New Babylon 1929 poster

In the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Paris Commune was established in 1871 against the rich and the powerful, and violently repressed by the army that remained faithful to a tamer form of Republicanism. How could the love story between a young sales girl and a soldier unable to decide if he was pro or against the radical fashion? Two short months were needed for the answer to be found – in blood and tears, and under rain that washes all past memories. Any day, a New Babylon shop will open with frilly things for the bourgeois girls. The washerwomen will be there to wash them.

My Grandmother (1929) Kote Mikaberidze

My Grandmother 1929 poster

The protagonist, a lazy pen-pusher, gets the sack for his bureaucratic idleness, and learns that the way back into the job market depends on getting a letter of recommendation from a “grandmother”.

October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927) Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein

October Ten Days that Shook the World 1927 poster

In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in November of that year. Lenin returns in April. In July, counter-revolutionaries put down a spontaneous revolt, and Lenin’s arrest is ordered. By late October, the Bolsheviks are ready to strike: ten days will shake the world. While the Mensheviks vacillate, an advance guard infiltrates the palace. Anatov-Oveyenko leads the attack and signs the proclamation dissolving the provisional government.

Konets Sankt-Peterburga (1927) Vsevolod Pudovkin, Mikhail Doller

Konets Sankt Peterburga 1927 poster

A peasant comes to St. Petersburg to find work. He unwittingly helps in the arrest of an old village friend who is now a labor leader. The unemployed peasant is also arrested and sent to fight in World War I. After three years, he returns ready for revolution.

Arsenal (1929) Aleksandr Dovzhenko

Arsenal 1929 poster

Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kyiv, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides with a national celebration of Ukrainian freedom, but the festivities are not to last as a disenchanted.

Mother (1926) Vsevolod Pudovkin

Mother 1926 poster

A man whose wife has died remarries, and his new wife has a daughter of her own from a previous marriage. The man’s young son, however, who loved his mother deeply and misses her terribly, resents his father’s new wife, not wanting her to take the place of his beloved mother, and makes life miserable for his new stepsister..

Stachka (1925) Sergei Eisenstein

Stachka 1925 poster

In Russia’s factory region during Czarist rule, there’s restlessness and strike planning among workers; management brings in spies and external agents. When a worker hangs himself after being falsely accused of thievery, the workers strike. At first, there’s excitement in workers’ households and in public places as they develop their demands communally. Then, as the strike drags on and management rejects demands, hunger mounts, as does domestic and civic distress. Provocateurs recruited from the lumpen and in league with the police and the fire department bring problems to the workers; the spies do their dirty work; and, the military arrives to liquidate strikers.

Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein

Battleship Potemkin 1925 poster

Based on the historical events the movie tells the story of a riot at the battleship Potemkin. What started as a protest strike when the crew was given rotten meat for dinner ended in a riot. The sailors raised the red flag and tried to ignite the revolution in their home port Odessa.