A real chronicle of the 1917 revolution, from the overthrow of tsarism to the civil war in Povolzhye, the film is Dziga Vertov’s personal debut as well as the first full-length documentary in the history of cinema.
Historical figures, such as Rodzyanko and Kerensky, Lenin and Chapaev, and a whole lot of Trotsky. Endless marches, rallies, and manifestations alongside funerals of victims of the terror. Moscow, Petrograd, and Kazan. Dancing sailors and the first peasant communes. Edited from a huge amount of documentary footage filmed by very different cinematographers, Dziga Vertov’s debut was supposed to clearly display what actually happened in and to Russia in 1917, while also allowing the spectators to witness historical events they had only been able to hear of before.
Having lost its historic relevance by the mid-1920s, Anniversary of the Revolution broke up into several episodes perceived by the audience, and screened in cinemas, as separate elements. This happened both due to the use of documentary materials shot by different authors and the plentiful mentions of Trotsky, society’s attitude to whom had begun to change at the time (interestingly, Stalin never appears in Vertov’s picture). All Anniversary of the Revolution copies were eventually taken to pieces, and the film was thought to be irretrievably lost for a long time. However, the discovery of a poster listing all episodes originally included in the movie allowed film historian Nikolay Izvolov to resurrect it.
The premiere of the film Anniversary of the Revolution will bring together for the first time Aleksey Borisov, Yorgos Stenos, Jan Kruml, and Georgy Kotanov—adepts of free improvisation from Greece, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and Russia. During an exclusive performance, these experienced musicians and bold experimenters, each known for his unique signature sound, will create an original soundtrack to the lost classic of avant-garde cinema.
Aleksey Borisov is a veteran of Moscow’s experimental music scene, ideologist of the bands Nochnoy Prospekt and F.R.U.I.T.S. and contributor to multiple international collaborations. Borisov has over a hundred dubbing works to his name, including silent movies by Dziga Vertov.
Jan Kruml is a Czech improvisation musician, radio DJ, and owner of the Nova Alternativa music label.
Yorgos Stenos is a British sound artist of Greek descent, inventor, improvisation musician, creator of original music instruments.
Georgy Kotanov is a Moscow-based improvisation musician, member of the Raff Leisure project, and specialist in Eastern experimental music.
The Moscow premiere of Anniversary of the Revolution has been organized with the support of the Karo.art project. The film will be released on September 12, also with the support of Karo.аrt.
Anniversary of the Revolution
Director: Dziga Vertov
Russia, 1918. 119 min. 16+