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Strike1925

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  • 4.2
The first feature film by the director of BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Sergei Eisenstein’s STRIKE is a visual tour-de-force that employs dynamic editing and experimental camerawork to dramatize the saga of a bitterly-fought factory strike in 1903. Often compared to CITIZEN KANE in terms of audacious directorial debuts, STRIKE embodies the revolutionary spirit of the Soviet people of the 1920s, cresting the waves of artistic and political idealism.

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3 members like this review

This is brutal, direct, unrelenting and obvious. Anyone complaining about the political content should be forced to watch "Birth of a Nation" over and over again. But the lighting, the framing, the casting and the timing (particularly of the cutting) show why Eisenstein ran rings around Griffith and even Gance. The villains are frightening grotesques and the network of snitches and bullies running up to the top-hatted boss are given about as much time as are the doomed heroic strikers. Highlighting the decadence in the bad guy's workplace are two little people who dance atop a table filled with food and eat grapes while alternate scenes show starving families. And, historically it is hard to argue against the oppression shown which was no doubt as unreasonable. The "Tsar" does not have to make an appearance- his existence dooms everyone. It seems to be borrowing bits from Dickens and German Expressionism but mostly it is clearly the work of a distinctive and for his time unequaled film force. Like "Potemkin" this is gripping and repelling.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (2)

759ca7e3cd20dc5a9cc2485d2902162a?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2fmale%2favatar m 0074
top reviewer

This is brutal, direct, unrelenting and obvious. Anyone complaining about the political content should be forced to watch "Birth of a Nation" over and over again. But the lighting, the framing, the casting and the timing (particularly of the cutting) show why Eisenstein ran rings around Griffith and even Gance. The villains are frightening grotesques and the network of snitches and bullies running up to the top-hatted boss are given about as much time as are the doomed heroic strikers. Highlighting the decadence in the bad guy's workplace are two little people who dance atop a table filled with food and eat grapes while alternate scenes show starving families. And, historically it is hard to argue against the oppression shown which was no doubt as unreasonable. The "Tsar" does not have to make an appearance- his existence dooms everyone. It seems to be borrowing bits from Dickens and German Expressionism but mostly it is clearly the work of a distinctive and for his time unequaled film force. Like "Potemkin" this is gripping and repelling.

3 members like this review
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top reviewer

Sergei Eisenstein's Strike (1925) does smack of a Soviet propaganda film to some small degree (pro-labor, class struggle, etc), but the realism, the great acting, and the excellent cinematography and editing of this film surely outweigh that minor detail. This film truly shows why Eisenstein was one the greats of the silent era.