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OCR A2 Film Sec A Messages and Values in Global Film: Battleship Potemkin & Good Bye, Lenin!

Rob Miller | Friday September 11, 2015

Categories: A Level, OCR A Level, OCR A2, Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Non-Hollywood Films, Goodbye Lenin, World Cinema, Battleship Potemkin, Genres & Case Studies, Comedy, Drama, History, Romance, War

  • Battleship Potemkin (Russia, 1925)
  • Good Bye, Lenin! (Germany, 2003)

Battleship Potemkin

  • (whole film)

Historical, Socio-political and Cultural Issues incorporating Authorship

Battleship Potemkin (Potemkin) is a film rooted in Russian history, a fragile peasant economy was ruled by a Tsarist autocracy until revolution and war in 1905 saw a wave of mass political and social unrest spread through the Russian Empire. This included strikes, peasant unrest and military mutinies. It was the latter that Potemkin explored by presenting a dramatised version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers. Previous to this film, and in the same year director Sergei Eisenstein had made Strike, another film representing rebellion and resistance showing factory workers in a 1903 pre-revolutionary Russia unsuccessfully rising up against their masters. Three years later in October: Ten Days That Shook the World (1928) Eisenstein again wrote and directed another political polemic, this time a dramatisation of the 1917 October Revolution that saw the Bolsheviks seize power.

Potemkin is a film that showed one isolated event in a difficult 20-year period in Russian history that led to the eventual creation of the Soviet Union in 1922. It is important to note that the film was made after this date. The new Soviet film industry had become established in the 1920s under the new regime and the production of complex propaganda films like Potemkin was now more feasible. Eisenstein and Vertov emerged as two filmmakers with very different techniques – Vertov was more experimental to the point that Eisenstein criticised Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929) for its “hooligan camera tricks? that detracted from the meaning of the film. Eisenstein since has become recognised as an auteur. Originally working in theatre, he was an intellectual...

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