1928 was the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution which overthrew the Tsarist aristocracy. And who else should make a dramatization of this celebratory event but Sergei Eisenstein, the man behind many historical propaganda revolution films? Lenin (who is barely shown in order to shorten the time length) leads a rebellion to overthrow the Tsar.
While this film is told in a documentary style and is a story of rebellion and revolution like Eisenstein’s other films, this one is different in which the story is not told in parts but in dates to really show “the ten days that shook the world.” I will say that this is another instance where I agree with the critics of the 20s about this film. It didn’t impress me the way Strike! did or Battleship Potemkin. It really did seem hard to follow. With Eisenstein’s previous films, it showed a step by step of what caused this revolution to happen and the steps taken for the plan of action. I didn’t feel like how I felt seeing Eisenstein’s previous films where I felt the encouragement to stand up for the fight. I was too confused by this film to be inspired. Did you feel that way yourself? I just wish we could have gotten some backstory in the beginning for those like myself who weren’t familiar with that event in history. Even so, this is a film to see for Eisenstein’s infamous editing techniques of rapid contrasting shots fitting in together.
Here is Sergei Eisenstein’s October and let me know your thoughts on it: