Officially produced to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Russian Revolution, OCTOBER quickly became another of Sergei Eisenstein’s experiments in film form. As in his masterpiece, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, Eisenstein uses explosive montage to create the spirit of revolution – in this case, the events in St. Petersburg during the months leading up to the Bolshevik revolt. Given complete access to the city – including the Czar’s Winter Palace – Eisenstein utilized non-actors to recount history from a political perspective. There is no main character in OCTOBER; no one person, not Lenin, not any minister or Bolshevik is singled out.
The hero of the film, as Eisenstein saw it, is the proletariat. Its triumph, its victory, is the Revolution, and Eisenstein’s insistence on speaking the language of pure film shoves his mad rush of images straight into the viewer’s mind in an unforgettable way.
The film has also been known as TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, its release title in the U.S. (borrowed from the book by John Reed).
DIRECTED BY SERGEI EISENSTEIN
SOVIET UNION | 1927 | SILENT WITH ENGLISH TITLE CARDS