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The End Of St. Petersburg

The End Of St. Petersburg

Vsevolod I. Pudovkin ,

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World Cinema

V. I. Pudovkin’s 1927 masterpiece of propaganda

V. I. Pudovkin’s brilliant and powerful dramatic reconstruction of the events leading to the birth of the city of Leningrad. Russian peasants leave the fields and walk to St Petersburg, the capital of the Tsars, to seek a living in the brutal factories. A strike ensues but strike breakers are brought in.

War is declared with Germany and “Mother Russia Calls!”

On the same night barricades appear in the working class districts and the army is mobilised to deal with the ‘war’ situation there to quell a potential revolution. At home, shells are being produced instead of bread, but peace is demanded and the Coalition Government proclaims the overthrow of the Tsar with the intention to end the war while the capitalists still reap the hedonistic benefits of their profits.

For the Communists this is not the solution and they declare “war against war” and “all power to the Soviets”.

Troops are brought back to St Petersburg to support the coalition government but after a confrontation where a Tsarist officer is shot by his own firing squad, who change sides and join the proletariat. On a signal from the Peter and Paul Tower, the Aurora’s guns open fire on the Winter Palace and the revolution begins. This culminates with the overthrow of the establishment and the proclamation that this is ”The End of St. Petersburg” and the beginning of the ”City of Lenin”.

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