October: Ten Days that Shook the World

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 7:00pm
October: Ten Days that Shook the World by Sergei Eisenstein

Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Borrowing its title from a book by American journalist John Reed (of Reds fame), Sergei Eisenstein's Ten Days That Shook the World reenacts the crucial week-and-a-half in October, 1918, when the Russian Kerensky regime was toppled by the Bolsheviks. While Eisenstein takes certain liberties in characterization—those opposing the Bolsheviks are depicted as mental defectives or grossly overweight clowns—his re-creation of such events as the storming of the Winter Palace are painstakingly meticulous. The "actor" playing Lenin, a nonprofessional worker named Nikandrov, so closely resembles the genuine article that the effect is positively eerie. So authentic is Eisenstein's reconstruction of events that, for years, TV documentaries have been passing off clips from Ten Days That Shook the World as "actual" scenes of the Revolution. While impressive on a technical level, the film never truly stirs the audience's emotions; Eisenstein purists have argued that this "alienation" technique was the director's intention all along, forcing the viewer to observe the events intellectually rather than emotionally. Produced in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution, Ten Days That Shook the World was initially titled October.
- From allmovie.com

Free admission

Sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

For more information, please call 617-495-4037.