"O, my People! Rise in your ancient strength and free yourself!" Glorious, if historically imaginative, piece of Soviet cinema. Every shot is spectacular, as are the powerful, occasionally even scathing, montages, and brilliant, gut-punching imagery. Plus beautiful footage of early 20th century Mongolia. Death to the capitalist, imperialist pig-dogs!
Essential silent cinema from director Vsevolod Pudovkin that stands as a testament to early Soviet cinema and near rivals Eisenstein with its use of editing technique. Memorable cinematography from Anatoli Golovnya with many striking images and impressive scope. An under sung gem
While it takes some time, the denouement is worth it, both for the way it wraps up the story and the compelling editing and style of it all in the end. Seeing it for the first time, it's actually kind of mind-blowing. And for a silent film, it has one of the best lines that still reflects on our current history in its various facets: "We are training the soul of our future leader." Sounds familiar.
Pudovkin's epic fable is rich with propaganda on the evils of imperialism and is conveyed in images that are simply breathtaking. It also has a fantastic tale to tell about the rip-roaring adventures of a Mongolian fur trader who eventually becomes a puppet ruler after being captured by the occupying army. Compositional brilliance and the use of montage are combined deftly to create a film that is essential viewing..