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also known as Le tombeau d'Alexandre

The Last Bolshevik1993

  • 4.4
Based on the life and work of the Russian film director Alexander Medvedkin, THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is a tribute from one filmmaker to another. An archeological expedition into film history that reveals new cinematic treasures, the film prompts a reflection on the relation between art and politics in the former Soviet Union. The film captures the commitment, energy, struggles, illusions and disillusions of a believing but never naïve Bolshevik. From Medvedkin's classic 1934 satire HAPPINESS, and the 'film train' which he directed in the 1930s, to his sardonic comedies and bitter war newsreels, Chris Marker draws a panorama of the artistic, political, and moral universe of a life and a country, bringing it right up to date with his own vision of Russia today. An intricate work with many levels and layers, THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is also a distillation of the art and beliefs of one of the greatest documentarians of our time, Chris Marker, who has revolutionized documentary as his near-contemporary Jean-Luc Godard transformed film fiction, crossing boundaries and mixing genres.

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3 members like this review

It is very hard to just say a few words about an important film by the most creative documentary film maker that ever lived, Chris Marker. This film is of great interest to anyone interested in Soviet history or cinema, but like any of Marker's "documentaries", It is so much more, it sends me running to look up historical notes and see films he references; I've seen HAPPINESS, now I must see all of Medvedkin's work!

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (4)

127953.small
top reviewer

It is very hard to just say a few words about an important film by the most creative documentary film maker that ever lived, Chris Marker. This film is of great interest to anyone interested in Soviet history or cinema, but like any of Marker's "documentaries", It is so much more, it sends me running to look up historical notes and see films he references; I've seen HAPPINESS, now I must see all of Medvedkin's work!

3 members like this review
81799.small
top reviewer

Chris Marker's video essay and tribute to Aleksandr Medvedkin, a Russian film pioneer and innovator whose films, while admired by his peers, were very rarely, if ever, shown publicly. Scenes from his films, interviews with current Russian film experts, biographical events and details all come together to create a vivid portrait of a tragically underappreciated director. While I admire this essay, the real treasure here lies in tracking down Medvedkin's "Happiness" and seeing it for yourself. It is a film experience unlike any other.

2 members like this review

A remarkable movie! An opportunity to look under the covers of the Bolshevik illusions. Again emphasizing how could Soviet Nation have brought the United States to a disabling paralysis. It was forever on the verge of collapse.

1 member likes this review