The Battleship Potemkin

The Battleship Potemkin

DVD - 2007
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Re-creates the 1905 mutiny on the battleship "Prince Potemkin." It focuses on a mutiny by the battleship's crew and the subsequent massacre of civilians, reflecting the spirit of the times.


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Aug 10, 2019

Just over an hour long, this silent black and white film has English subtitles underneath Russian subtitles. There is no sound on the film track I watched, but there is a choice to view the film with the music of Shostakovich as background sound. Viewing this film reminded me of the early silent movies made in the US, but this one is a Russian product. With minimal script, the story is quite sympathetic towards the Russian seamen on the battleship heading towards Odessa who refused to eat soup made from spoiled meat. The ship's commanders ordered those who didn't eat the soup to be hung from the yard, but, in the ensuing confrontation, the leader of the seamen was shot and the sailors took over the control of the ship from the officers. The seamen sailed to the port of Odessa where they left the dead man's body with a note saying the officers shot him because he wouldn't eat the soup. The citizens of Odessa came in the thousands to the Potemkin Steps in Odessa were the body was laid to view it and show support for the seamen. The Russian rulers sent in militia to clear the throng of people by shooting at them. The aftermath was not presented in the movie as it ends at that point. The mass shooting of unruly citizens by their leaders in undemocratic countries happens even today so - history does repeat itself.

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