Films of protest/rebellion/revolution

October: Ten Days That Shook the World, 1927

This film is the final part of director Sergei Eisenstein’s trilogy. He admitted that the revolution had “given him the most precious of all things: It made him an artist.”

Chapaev, 1934

This is a film by the Vasiliev brothers about self-sacrificing Red Army commander Vasily Chapaev, who with his friends Petka and Anka fought the White Guard.

Lenin in October, 1937

Shot 20 years after the revolution, Mikhail Romm’s film concentrates on the personality of Vladimir Lenin – a funny neurotic before turning out to be the genius of the revolution. In the opinion of his contemporaries, actor Boris Schukin played the revolution’s leader so virtuously that viewers stood up and applauded when he appeared on screen – it was as if they were standing in front of Lenin himself.

The Flight, 1970

This two-part film based on the works of Mikhail Bulgakov (primarily his play Flight and the novel The White Guard). Having participated in the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, Alexander Alov and Vladimir Naumov’s film depicts the radical rupture of moral and ethical values that occurred during the revolution, as well as the difficulties of the immigration and the lost role of the intelligentsia in the new Soviet era.

Angels of the Revolution, 2014

This is an unusual story of the consequences of the revolution filmed by Venetian Film Festival-winner Alexei Fedorchenko (First on the MoonSilent Souls). It’s about a group of revolutionaries who come to the taiga to “enlighten” the indigenous peoples in the name of art. Fedorchenko’s screen heroes are based on 1920s avant-garde artists: Painters, architects, musicians, and others. The mosaic of facts blended with the director’s imagination shows the confrontation between the foremost Soviet citizens and the smaller peoples of Siberia and the North who were detached from the revolutionary sentiment.

The Battle of Algiers -La battaglia di Algeri, 1966

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Land and Freedom – Tierra y Libertad, 1995

The film narrates the story of David Carr, an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, who decides to fight for the republican side in the Spanish Civil War, an anti-rebel coalition of Socialists, Communists and Anarchists.

I Am Cuba – Soy Cuba, 1964

Four vignettes about the lives of the Cuban people set during the pre-revolutionary era.

Strike – Стачка, 1925

Strike is a silent film made in the Soviet Union by Sergei Eisenstein.

Three Songs About Lenin – Tri pesni o Lenine, 1934

Three anonymous songs about Lenin provide the basis for this documentary that celebrates the achievements of the Soviet Union and Lenin’s role in creating them.

1900 – Novecento, 1976

The epic tale of a class struggle in twentieth century Italy, as seen through the eyes of two childhood friends on opposing sides.

Rosa Luxemburg – Die Geduld der Rosa Luxemburg, 1986

Polish socialist and Marxist Rosa Luxemburg works tirelessly in the service of revolution in early 20th century Poland and Germany. While Luxemburg campaigns for her beliefs, she is repeatedly imprisoned as she forms the Spartacist League offering a new vision for Germany.

In the Year of the Pig, 1986

A documentary chronicling the background to, and history of, the Vietnam War.

Salt of the Earth, 1954

Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.

Mexico: The Frozen Revolution -México, la revolución congelada, 1971

A thorough analysis of the social- politics of Mexico, within the historical context of the Mexican Revolution (1910). Includes footage of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, interviews with farmers, politicians, intellectuals, middle class, trade unionists.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Chavez: Inside the Coup, 2003

In April 2002, an Irish film crew is making a documentary about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, when a coup from the opposition is made.

The Last Zapatistas, Forgotten Heroes – Los últimos zapatistas, héroes olvidados, 2002

In the year 2000 the Mexican film director, Francesco Taboada Tabone, began his search for the last of the soldiers to have fought beside General Emiliano Zapata in the 1910 Revolution.

The East is Red – Dongfang hong, 1965

The East Is Red is a 1965 Chinese film directed by Wang Ping. It is a “song and dance epic” dramatizing the history of the Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party under the leadership of Mao Zedong, from the beginnings of the Boxer Rebellion, to the Civil War against the Nationalists, to the victory of the Communists and the establishing of the People’s Republic.

Lumumba, 2000

At the Berlin Conference of 1885, Europe divided up the African continent. The Congo became the personal property of King Leopold II of Belgium. On June 30, 1960, a young revolutionary Patrice Lumumba, became, at age 36, the first head of government of the new independent state. He would last two months in office.

The Battle of Neretva – Bitka na Neretvi, 1969

World war two drama about the 1943 battle around the Neretva River between Axis forces and Yugoslav partisan units.

Who’s Singin’ Over There? – Ko to tamo peva?, 1980

It’s April 5, 1941, somewhere in Serbia. A group of people go on a bus to Belgrade, on a journey that will change their lives forever.

Walter Defends Sarajevo – Valter brani Sarajevo, 1972

The film, Walter Defends Sarajevo (1972), tells the story of Vladimir Valter Perić, leader of Sarajevo’s underground resistance movement when it was occupied by Nazis forces during WWII.

Balkan ekspres, 1983

World War II, Serbia. A band of small-time crooks aren’t interested in either the occupation or the resistance movement—their lone ambition is to survive in one piece. They flee from the capital to the countryside disguised as a musical troupe called “Balkan Express” and wait for the end of the war while supporting themselves through petty theft. Despite the fact that all of their energy is being spent on avoiding everything related to the war, a combination of circumstances forces them into a situation where they must act like heroes. Black humor interweaves with an exciting plot and nostalgic music seems to struggle with the horrors of war.

I Even Met Happy Gypsies – Skupljači perja, 1967

The film is centered on Romani people’s life in a village in northern Vojvodina. The authenticity of I Even Met Happy Gypsies is amplified by the use of genuine Gypsy melodies on the soundtrack; in addition, the film was shot in a near-extinct Gypsy language called Romany, requiring the film to carry subtitles even when released in Yugoslavia. I Even Met Happy Gypsies was the recipient of an award at the Cannes Film Festival.

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