Concurrent with the release of this film as a flag-waving device for the first Soviet 5 Year Plan (1928-1932), much of the Donbass basin (which was the subject of this film's production and images) an industrial zone of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic experienced The Holodomor. Holodomor is a Ukrainian word for extermination by hunger, in this
Simply correcting the line of mourning adopted here. Vertov was not "assigned" to make a propaganda film, nor was he someone in the classic auteur model (making interesting work in a rote industrial setup). Vertov was positively interested in contributing to Five Year Plan's hyper-modernizing drive, considering his film to be part of the same "shock labour" experiment.
After the classic 'Man With a Movie Camera', Vertov made this bold foray into audio-visual synchronisation but failed to overcome its propagandistic tendencies. His mix of blatant propaganda with avant-garde technique made for interesting images blended with sound (far ahead of his western contemporaries) but those came with a side of Soviet collectivisation. A crusty relic.
Impressive specimen of Soviet modernization and collectivization Utopia. There are several dazzling techniques used by Vertov as well as powerful set-pieces, such as the destruction of religious symbols. The total mobilization of labor-power is expectedly dressed in the garb of militarist patriotism. This is itself is an achievement that culminates in an incadescent metal loop ballet. Militant, dated but brilliant!