4 Stars out of 4
Sergei Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin hurdles past cinema into the heart of history itself. It manipulates montage to a tee and also manipulates our sympathy to the point that the film is a transgressive angle to historical analysis. Never have I seen a film that made me want to root, cry, squirm, and then applaud. Eisenstein’s film is labeled, in a simple sense, as propaganda. It gives the film a harsh label, and not one it deserves, because it evokes feelings that, despite Eisenstein’s conceited ways, never feel synthetic.
The film released 8 years after the beginning of the Bolshevik Revolution, where Communist took on an age of its own. Russian socialists began to rebel against the elitist tsarists and violence, pain, and civil animosity was overwhelming. As a silent film, The Battleship Potemkin works best. In all the quiet, the film is juxtaposed by a visual that moves vigorously. In the silence, the mayhem surrounding evokes repression and the emotional strife of sympathizing with our inferior heroes. (continue reading…)