Sergei Eisenstein's first feature film tends to deal in broad strokes when it comes to its sneering, almost cartoonish Capitalist villains, but this riveting retelling of a deadly factory strike that led to a police massacre of its workers clearly demonstrates Eisenstein's power to enrage inspire. An early example of Soviet Montage, STRIKE is a powerful precursor to Eisenstein's masterpiece, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.
Brilliant. It is propaganda, yes. But EVERYTHING is propaganda; ideas are as essential to humanity as emotion. Cinephiles will lionize racists such as Griffith, but like ghettoizing revolutionary humanist anti-capitalists like Eisenstein. Protest art is essential (perhaps now more than ever). "Strike" may not be his best film, but it's like a great first punk album - it screams with energy and passion.
A perfect example of what cinema can give to human perception, this film is not only full of astonishing images and compositions, but the editing techniques are used to perturb the viewer. Eisenstein has the ability to translate the fundamental meaning of communism into cinema. He gives dignity and value to proletarian society and ridicules capitalist power.
Hard to believe this to be a debut film. The pioneering editing, the perfect timing, the brilliant cinematography would suggest years of experience –a literal master-piece, not a beginner's work at all. Absolute control of the medium. The script is sometimes dull, but that's not the reason why you're watching this movie. Shame for the scene of the cow slauthering, a barbarity that has nothing to do with Art.
The idea of a strike takes new meaning for me. Growing up, all I saw were opulent and bitchy teachers parading about with their shitty-made protest signs demanding more money and less hours for their overpaid, underworked asses.
I found Eisenstein's first major film much more relatable than the equally ingenious "Potemkin". Forceful pictures illustrate the violent suppression of a strike of factory workers for better working conditions. Eisenstein brought on a revolution in film making and in "Strike" this revolution is rendered comprehensible even for a modern audience.
Eistenteins' power of visual imagery exposed in a most dramatic "cookbook" for social strife. For a more detailed account of the multiple strikes (and corresponding massacres) that lead to the Bolshevik revolution vis-a-vis Rasputin, check out Elem Klimov's Agoniya!