Revue (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Revue 2008

Predstavlenye

Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

This handsomely presented compilation of immaculately preserved 50s and 60s Soviet propaganda films offers unique insights into the mindset of a lost time and place.

Germany / Russia / Ukraine In Russian with English subtitles
82 minutes Colour and B&W

Director, Screenplay, Editor

Elsewhere

Sergei Loznitsa's compilation of 50s and 60s Soviet propaganda films offers unique insights into the mindset of a lost time and place. The USSR was emerging from the shadow of Stalin, and he's an unspoken presence for much of the film, which documents copious genuflections to Lenin as the Great Soviet Leader of preference. We're also right in the middle of Cold War rivalries, with films celebrating the space race and satirical puppets mocking Chubby Checker's 'Let's Twist Again'. As with Loznitsa's earlier Blockade, the material, immaculately well preserved, is presented without commentary. It has been subtly shaped, with straight reportage giving way to more doctrinally charged 'news items'. The early part of the film is dominated by records of everyday life and kitsch folk performances from the Republics, but State and Party become much heavier presences as the film progresses. Loznitsa takes archival material that could be quaint or nostalgic and gives it a crucial twist that reinstates its human and historical urgency. — AL