Este aconsejable y largo documental ya está colgado en youtube, pero de manera fragmentaria, en diversos formatos de vídeo, y es posible que no duren eternamente.
Existe un torrent para descarga completa. Se puede encontrar en esta página
. Yo acabo de descargármelo completo. Los enlaces señalados más arriba ya no funcionan.
A continuación copio el contenido de cada CD (son cuatro), tal y como viene especificado en los alchivos:
PART 1: AMERICAN IMPERIALISTS
DVD LINER NOTES
PART 1: American Imperialists
Black and White
Someone Else’s Voice
1. Black and White, 1933, directed by I. Ivanov-Vano and L.
Based on “Black and White,” a poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky.
Mayakovsky is often called the loudspeaker of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Yet he was also a most talented poet, whose works are widely quoted
even today. As a graphic artist, he was one of the founders of the Okna
Rosta (Rosta Windows) a massive media publicity blitz which used
posters to spread word of the Revolution via the Russian telegraphic
The animation in “Black and White” is based on his drawings.
In 1922, Mayakovsky received special permission to travel to America.
En route he stopped in Cuba where Americans controlled the sugar and
tobacco industries. “Black and White” tells the story of Willie, the shoe
shine boy, who makes the fatal mistake of asking the White Sugar King
Mister Bragg, “Why should white sugar be made by a black man?”
Only fragments of the film were found, without restorable sound. It was
decided to underscore the fragments with excerpts from “Sometimes I
feel like a Motherless Child,” recorded by Paul Robeson in 1949 at the
Tchaikovsky Theatre in Moscow. The son of an American slave,
Robeson was an athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and
political activist. He spoke fluent Russian. Although he never officially
joined the Communist party, he supported the USSR politically which
brought him to the attention of the House Un-American Activities
Committee, and ultimately probably cost him his American career.
In 1952 Robeson was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize. He translated the
Soviet national anthem into English. His rendition, also recorded in
Moscow in 1949, underscores the end credits of this episode.
Oleg Vidov (actor/producer): “The Soviet propaganda machine glorified
Robeson almost as an achievement of the International Revolution. But
for the Soviet people who attended his concerts or heard him on radio, he
was a good friend from America, the country which helped us to defeat
the Nazis. During a time of oppression and Stalin terror, here came this
good-spirited, free person from the United States. Unlike us, he could
travel freely and bring us songs in English. He also taught us to sing
‘Ole Man River’ in Russian.
Total Running time: 2:27 min.
2. Mister Twister, 1963, A. Karanovitch, Soyuzmultfilm Studio.
Based on the popular children’s poem written in 1933 by Samuel Marshak
who is also credited with writing the script, “Mister Twister” tells the story
of a wealthy American who travels with his family to Leningrad for a
vacation. When he learns there are “guests of color” at the Angleterre hotel,
he cancels his reservation. The concierge calls ahead to all other hotels in
Leningrad and advises them not to give the American racist and his family a
room. Mr. Twister returns to the Angleterre, and after spending the night in
the lobby decides he has overcomes his prejudices. During the USSR school
children regularly memorized the Marshak poem.
Sonia Marshak. M.D. (Scientist): My great grandfather was a poet, satirist,
and outstanding translator of English literature -- Shakespeare, Burns, Keats,
Blake, Wordsworth, and Kipling among others. He founded, in 1920, one of
the first children’s theaters in the Soviet Union, and wrote plays for it.
Highly effective in persuading gifted writers and artists to write for children,
he also headed the Children’s Section of the State Publishing house. During
the years of the Stalin terror, the Section came under attack for its alleged
bourgeois leanings. Members the group were accused of being associated
with “Samuel Marshak, Enemy of the People.” They were interrogated,
killed, and sent to labor camps in Siberia and the Arctic.
Julian Lowenfeld (translator): The animated film, made in the 60s, differs
from the original poem, written in the 30s, in several curious ways. First of
all, in the original poem, little Susan announces:
I'm going to eat nothing but caviar black,
And catch real live sturgeons in handfuls!
On the banks of the Volga
I'll ride in a troika
I'll run round collective farms
With nothing but raspberries heaped in my arms!
Although Marshak is credited with the screenplay, we do not know why
Susie's motives for visiting Russia were omitted from the film. Did the
censors in Brezhnev's "era of stagnation" feel that an American millionaire's
daughter supposedly wanting to visit the Soviet Union to pick raspberries at
a collective farm sound so absurd it would seem satirical?
Another curious twist to the Mr. Twister Film is the behavior of the
concierge of the Angleterre. In the film, he plays an active part in teaching
Mr. Twister a lesson about proletarian solidarity and the costs of intolerance,
by phoning all the other hotels in town and telling them not to give Mr.
Twister a room (even though rooms are available). But in the original
poem, the concierge does no such thing--rooms truly are unavailable
anywhere else, because Leningrad is full of foreign tourists in town for
an international congress.
Total Running time: 15:33 min.
3. Someone Else’s Voice. 1949. I. Ivanov-Vano. Soyuzmultfilm.
Written by Sergei Mihalkov, a popular children’s poet who also wrote the
lyrics to the Soviet National Anthem. Jazz was an early victim of the Cold
War, condemned as “an enemy of the people.” In this film for children, a
Soviet bird returns home from abroad and gives a concert. When she sings
jazz, a new kind of music she learned on her travels, the Soviet birds boo
and hiss and drive her from the forest.
Note: Whatever the official policy, jazz was popular in the USSR and was
used in the score of many later films in this series.
Total running time: 9:23 min.
4. Ave Maria, 1972, I. Ivanov-Vano. Soyuzmultfilm.
Also known as “Against American Aggression in Vietnam,” this film is as
anti-war as anti-American and portrays the Church as an actively malignant
social influence. Underscored by Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” Ivanov-Vano,
who worked as an animator on some of the animation films made in the 20s
such as “China in Flames,” went on to become the USSR’s foremost director
of animated films for children.
Vladimir Paperny (writer and cultural historian): I think that propaganda
goals of the 70s and the 30s and the 40s were quite different. In the 40s and
the 30s, and even before, the idea was to project the Soviet Union as a very
powerful, very invincible warrior, something that doesn’t compromise and
just fights to the very end, something very menacing, aggressive and
something that everybody should fear. In the 70s, the Soviet Union was
presented as the defender of humanitarian values, as a fortress of the
fight against barbarism. You can see it in “Ave Maria.” The sound track is
Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” a religious song, and the imagery is icons,
paintings of the Madonna with a child. The official Soviet ideology was
atheism and despite this, those religious images were supposed to present
the Soviet Union as the new defender of humanity and humanitarian bounds.
Total Running time: 9:34 min.
5. The Millionaire, 1963, V. Bordzilovsky and Y. Prytkov,
Also based on a poem for children by Sergei Mihalkov. A rich American
woman leaves a million dollars to her beloved bulldog. The theme is that in
America, money can buy anything; the bulldog becomes rich and powerful
and eventually a member of the U.S. Congress.
Total running time: 9:57 min.
6. Shooting Range, 1979, V. Tarasov. Soyuzmultfilm.
Based on a play by V. Slatkin. An unemployed American gets a job in a
shooting gallery as a live target; the greedy capitalist owner charges patrons
double for the chance to shoot at a human being. Tarasov, a fan of J.D.
Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” modeled the film’s hero on Holden
Caulfield. An artist as well as an animation director, Tarasov combed
through back issues of “America,” a magazine published by the U.S.
government during the Cold War, and American comic books, to lovingly
create the film’s fabulous New York City back drop. The attention to detail
is amazing (and sometimes off base), from the graffiti on the buildings to the
brand name on the back of the hero’s tennis shoes.
Total running time: 19:14 min.
7. Mr. Wolf, 1949, directed by V. Gromov. Soyuzmultfilm.
Based on the drawings of renowned political caricaturist Boris Yefimov who
is interviewed in Part 4 of this series. A wealthy American retires with his
family to the “Island of Peace.” All is well until oil is discovered and greed
trumps Mr. Wolf’s peaceful attitudes. In the end the U.S. military arrives to
protect Mr. Wolf’s private island and his oil.
Total Running time: 10:04 min.
• Igor Kokarev, Professor of Film Sociology, Russian State Film
• Vladimir Tarasov, director/ artist “Shooting Gallery”
• Dr. Sofia Marshak, PhD, great-granddaughter of children’s poet
PART 2: THE FASCIST BARBARIANS
DVD Liner Notes
FILMS IN PART 2: Fascist Barbarians
Fascist Boots Shall Not Trample Our Motherland
What Hitler Wants
Beat Fascist Pirates
Strike the Enemy on the Front Lines and at Home
A Mighty Handshake
To You Moscow
Adventures of the Young Pioneers
The Pioneer’s Violin
Lesson Not Learned
Tale of A Toy
We Can Do It
The Soldier and The Garden
We’re Drawing October
1. Cinema Circus, 1942, directed by L. Amalrik and O. Khodataeva,
One of a handful of animated short “political posters” that survived World
War II, this one ridicules Hitler and his cronies. The master of ceremonies is
a caricature of the USSR’s most famous clown, Karandash, whose name
means pencil in Russian.
Total Running Time: 3:34 min.
2. Fascist Boots Shall Not Trample Our Motherland, 1941, directed by
A. Ivanov and I. Vano. Soyuzmultfilm.
A political film-poster made in the first months after the Nazi invasion of the
USSR. Sound track is from the popular march “Our Armor Is Strong and
Our Tanks Are Fast.” Vocals by the Alexandrov Ensemble.
Total Running Times: 2:41 min.
3. Vultures, 1941, directed by P. Sasonov. Soyuzmultfilm.
Fascist invaders portrayed as vultures. Original sound was not found.
Total Running Time: 2:11 min.
4. Newsreels #1-4: “What Hitler Wants,” “Beat Fascist Pirates,” “Strike
the Enemy on the Front Lines and at Home,” and “A Mighty
Handshake.” 1941. Directed by V. and Z. Brumberg, A. Ivanov, O.
Khodataeva, and I. Ivanov-Vano. Soyuzmultfilm.
Four animated shorts from World War II. “A Mighty Handshake” is the
only animated propaganda film in this series which shows a capitalist
country in a positive light – in this case British and Soviet soldiers cooperate
in the war against the Nazis.
Total Running Time: 8:11 min.
5. To You Moscow, 1947, directed by G. Lomidze. Soyuzmultfilm.
An animated history of the city of Moscow, including the Nazi invasion,
made to honor of the city’s 800 th anniversary.
Vladimir Paperny (writer and cultural historian): When we look at this film
about the 800th anniversary of the city of Moscow, what’s amazing is that
it’s done in the painterly style of the 19th Century realism, almost like Repin
and Levitan. Everything is painted in this realistic manner. And then
somehow there is an almost seamless transition from this style to actual
color photographs and 35mm color film. That suggests that the realism in
the painting was almost the same way as they saw it in the early
Renaissance. The object of painting is to trick the viewer, to make the
viewer believe that what he or she is looking at is real life. That’s why when
they cut from the animated realistic painting to color photograph or color
film we don’t see any contradiction. It is just a natural transition. Now
when you look at the films of the 70s, you see some careful attempts to
bring some modernism into [these ideological films]; you can see some
impressionistic touches, some kind of semi-avant-garde attempts, very
modest, very careful. but it’s there.
Total Running Time: 17:33 min.
6. The Adventures of the Young Pioneers, 1971, directed V. Pekar.
Boy scouts and girl scouts, known as Pioneer Pens, defy German forces
occupying their village by flying a Soviet flag over Nazi headquarters.
Captured as partisans, they are rescued by the Red army.
Total Running Time: 17:34 min.
7. The Pioneer’s Violin, 1971, directed by B. Stepantsev,
A Nazi soldier tries to force a young Soviet boy scout to play a German song
on his violin. Instead he defiantly plays the [then] Soviet national anthem,
“The International,” and is shot by the Nazi.
Fyodor Khitruk: Patriotic themes existed and were included into the plan of
Goskino (the State Film Committee)...We weren’t pushed to make films
based on these themes, but the political repertoire was put together by what
they approved or did not approve, as in feature films and literature. ‘The
Pioneer’s Violin’ probably wasn’t promoted by somebody. They didn’t write
the scripts on Vasiliev Street [Goskino]. As I remember, Boris Stepanstev
who made this film, made it honestly thinking it was needed.
Total Running Time: 7:45 min.
8. Vasilyok, 1973, directed by S. Aristakesova. Soyuzmultfilm.
World War II left Soviet children without fathers and grandfathers. Vasilok
searches everywhere for his grandfather, and finally discovers he was a war
hero, so famous a ship was named for him.
Total Running Time: 9:40 min.
9. A Lesson Not Learned, 1971, directed by V. Karavaev,
Based on caricatures by Boris Yefimov, who is interviewed in Part 4 of the
series. This film was made in reaction to “revanchism” – fear that Germany
would reunite and seek revenge on Europe and the USSR for World War II.
A disguised Nazi slips into the US zone of divided Germany. The
Americans nurse him back to health as he plots how to reunite the
Fatherland. His plans are ruined when he runs headlong into the Berlin
Wall, erected by the USSR between East and West Berlin in 1961.
Vladimir Paperny: The Soviet Union invested millions of dollars as we now
know into supporting the peace movement. They supported the
disarmament movement and they supported the anti-nuclear movement.
German “revanchism” was one of these buzz words that was supposed to
win over young left-wing people in the west.
Total Running Time: 5:13 min.
10. Attention! Wolves! 1970, directed by Y. Gamburg. Soyuzmultfilm.
Based on “Blond Aryan Beast,” a story by L. Lagin. A Child is found in the
wilderness of West Germany, living with wolves. He is captured and trained
Total Running Time: 16:53 min.
11. Tale of a Toy, 1984. directed by B. Ablinin, Soyuzmultfilm
Made to commemorate the 40 th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the
Germans. The film won second prize at the XXII Leipzig Festival of Films
for Children. In a German concentration camp Russian prisoners fashion a
Don Quixote doll from a bit of metal. It becomes their symbol of hope.
The lyrical film is bracketed with references to the Spanish Civil War, which
led to decades of authoritarian rule by Generalissimo Franco, and the 1973
coup d’etat in Chile which toppled the socialist, pro-Soviet regime of
Salvadore Allende. (“Clear skies” was the codeword which launched
Franco’s 1936 coup, supported by the fascist governments of Italy and
Germany and opposed by the USSR and France).
Vladimir Paperny (writer and cultural historian): Don Quixote is an
international cultural symbol. The message of the film is that “we” Russians
are the protectors of the cultural values and European humanity which the
Germans tried to destroy.
Total Running Time: 9:12 min.
12. We Can Do It, 1970, directed by L. Atamanov. Soyuzmultfilm.
An anti-war film about the ability of individuals to prevent war.
Total Running Time: 9:24 min.
OVERVIEW INCLUDES CLIPS FROM:
13. The Soldier and The Garden, 1980, directed by S. Sokolov, co-
production between Soyuzmultfilm and DEFA Studio (East Germany).
A young German girl peacefully tends her flower garden until war breaks
out and her surroundings are destroyed. A Soviet soldier saves her and her
14. We’re Drawing October, 1977, directed by Y. Gamburg and O.
Zaher. Co-production between Soyuzmultfilm and Dresden Trickfilm
Studio (E. Germany).
Produced to commemorate the anniversary of the October Revolution and to
celebrate the friendship between the children of the USSR and East
Germany, the USSR’s staunchest ally. The paintings of the children are
animated, and a song of friendship is sung in German and Russian.
• Igor Kokarev, Professor of Film Sociology, Russian State Film School
• Vladimir Paperny, writer and cultural historian
• Oleg Vidov, Actor/producer
Part 3: CAPITALIST SHARKS
We’ll Keep Our Eyes Peeled
Proud Little Ship
Prophets and Lessons
China in Flames
Also: Drawings of Yuri Merkulov
1. Interplanetary Revolution, 1924. Directed by N. Khodataev, Z.
Komisarenko, Y. Merkulov. GTK (Goskino Technikum)
Silent film. Fervent Bolsheviks export the Revolution to Mars. When
capitalists escaping Earth arrive on Mars, they find the comrades already
there, having a party congress beneath a banner of Lenin.
Irina Margolina (documentary filmmaker): Zenon Komisarenko, a pupil of
great abstract painter Kazmir Malevich, made the first Soviet object
animation which appeared in the feature film “Aelita,” directed by Y.
Protazanov. According to the diary of Nikolai Khodataev, who worked with
Komisarenko, Komisarenko prepared sketches and background for animated
sequences of Aelita, but nothing came of his efforts. Therefore his group
decided to make an animated film based on those sketches about the export
of the Revolution to Mars. It was done as a parody of “Aelita.”
Total Running Time: 7:47 min.
2. We’ll Keep Our Eyes Peeled, 1927, directors N. Khodataev Group.
Britain’s foreign secretary, Lord Curzon, tries to sabotage development of
the fledgling Soviet Union with a trade embargo. Defiant Soviets buy
government bonds (obligazia) and a new industrial nation is born. Note:
We found nothing in western history books to support the storyline of this
Oleg Vidov (actor/producer): Soviets were regularly forced to “save” the
economy from ruin, or fight the war, by buying “obligazia.” Throughout the
years, the State promised to redeem the bonds, but rarely did until the
Gorbachev era, but even that government did not honor many. The
obligatzia were printed on good paper and so beautiful some people used
them as wallpaper.
Total Running Time: 2:42 min.
3. The Shareholder, 1963, directed by Roman Davidov, Soyuzmultfilm.
An American worker believes that owning a share in the factory where he
works will give him a say in the running of the company and save him from
poverty. Described in animator.ru as “a critique of ‘folk capitalism.’”
Total Running Time: 23:31 min.
4. Proud Little Ship, 1966, directed by Vitold Bordzilovsky.
Animated by Vladimir Tarasov (director of “Shooting Range” from Part 1 of
this series, and “Forward March, Time! from Part 4). Boy scouts build a
miniature of the battleship Aurora, which according to Bolshevik history
fired the first shot of the Revolution. The ship sails around the world in the
name of “Soviet Friendship,” only to be pursued by evil Capitalist sharks.
Vladimir Tarasov (director/artist): I was a young artist when I got a work
proposal from a very interesting man and director/artist: Vitold
Bordzilovsky. He suggested I work on this film. It would have been a sin to
miss the opportunity. It was very interesting work. I was just out of the
Soviet army and naturally I had the appropriate approach, having been there
for three years. I was against imperialism, and for our little boat and films
for our children.
Total Running Time: 17:59 min.
5. Prophets and Lessons, 1967, directed by Vyacheslav Kotonochkin.
Described in animator.ru as “a political cinema poster for adults about the
failure of capitalism to halt the success of the USSR.” Based on drawings of
Boris Yefimov who is interviewed in Part 4 of this series.
Total Running Time: 9:32 min.
6. China in Flames, 1925. Directed by N. Khodataev, Y. Merkulov, Z.
Komisarenko. GTK (Goskino Technikum) Kino Moscow.
The Film protests foreign intervention in the Chinese economy. According
to animator.ru it was made on order of the “United Committee for Hands Off
China.” There may be a longer version, but we did not find it despite serious
Irina Margolina (documentary filmmaker): “China in Flames,” (also known
as “China On Fire”) was the first full length animated film made in the
USSR. It marks the first time that propagandists advanced the idea that the
USSR should support neighbors who are weak and need help. A great
number of the animators who worked on this film would become famous in
coming years: Ivanov-Vano, V. and Z. Brumberg, Olga Khodataeva. Their
different styles of animation can be recognized (for instance, many of the
landscapes are clearly the work of the Brumberg sisters, and many of the
capitalists were drawn by Yuri Merkulov).
Total Running Time: 37:14 min.
7. Images of Yuri Merkulov, drawn in approximately 1960-1965,
director Y. Merkulov.
These images are from the collection of documemtary filmmakers Irina
Margolina and Mark Lyakhovetsky, who produced the series “Animation
Irina Margolina: Yuri Merkulov collaborated with Nikolai Khodataev, the
classic Soviet animator. They worked during the 20s, the most difficult
period of Soviet animation. In those years animation was supposed to be
propaganda -- like a poster. The purpose of an animated film was to
instruct. The naïve Soviet “auditorium” needed naïve stories, which were
easily understood. Merkulov’s films were political: mundane caricatures
were combined with laconic story lines. Simple satire, like that produced by
an amateur theatre. The heroes of the films are very good or very bad. Bad
enemies and good friends. Merkulov’s films were not great artistically but
they were part of that era. The interest in his work is based on Merkulov’s
political belief, that what he was doing was important and necessary for the
country, which comes through in virtually every frame.
Total Running time: 2 min.
• Igor Kokarev, Professor of Film Sociology, Russian State Film
• Fyodor Khitruk, director/animator, Soyuzmultfilm
Part 4: Communism the Shining Future
Little Music Box
Lenin’s Kino Pravda
Results of the XII Party Congress (of Cooperation)
A Hot Stone
Songs of the Years of Fire
1. Forward March, Time! 1977, directed by Vladimir Tarasov.
A thought provoking, complex and visually compelling film, based on
ideological poems written by the Vladimir Mayakovsky in the 20s, as well
as advertisements Mayakovsky created during the New Economic Policy
with avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko.
Tarasov: Right now it is puzzling to look back at this unachieved dream
“Forward March, Time!” Pity but there is nothing left from USSR. We did
the film with good heart and an understanding of the emotion of that era.
Such a country existed in poetry and music, but in reality it did not exist. It
was like fiction. All the obstacles created a pyramid, which then collapsed .
Julian Lowenfeld (translator):
The eccentric bard
(who never could quite join the Party)
Of the October Revolution,
Don’t ask why, but
You get used to it
After a while.
“Forward March, Time!” is a collage of some of his more radical lines from
over a dozen poems over a space of nearly twenty years. (The song itself
comes from Mayakovsky’s remarkable play The Bathhouse, a satire of the
corruption and hypocrisy of Communist bureaucracy all the more powerful
for being written by a believer).
As the voice of the Futurists, who espoused radical change in Russia, he
despised the Belle Epoque saccharine clichés of “comfortable” poets like
Blyumkin and Severyanin, shown here in cages, like canaries, chirping
sentimental verse, as “irreproachably tender/ Not a man, but a cloud in
trousers!”-- while people were starving.
I will mock
At your daydreams,
Dawdling on soft-boiled brains,
Like a fat,
in a dirty divan lazing!
I will glut my fill,
Gloat over the last bloody scraps of the heart,
In arrogant bitterness raging!
For Mayakovsky, Communism was the ultimate romantic cause (“without it/
for me/ there is no love”). Despite his iconic status as the USSR’s
institutional revolutionary poet, as it were, it is his incomparable love lyrics,
few of which are quoted here, which are most arresting in their depth, their
ferocity—and yes, their tenderness.
Some of the advertisements in the film come from actual posters and
advertisements created by Mayakovsky, who was trained as a professional
artist, poster-maker, and advertiser. The spaceship Mayakovsky honors the
poet’s fascination with space, the stars, and cosmic voyages, evident in such
quirky gems as “Listen to Me!” and “The Flying Proletarian”.
(Also see Julian Lowenfeld’s biographical notes about Mayakovsky).
Total Running Time: 17:47 min.
2. Soviet Toys, 1924, directed by Dziga Vertov. Goskino USSR.
Produced as a silent film.
Considered to be the first animated Soviet film, Soviet Toys was made by
the acclaimed documentary film director Dziga Vertov. It is based on
political caricatures by V. Deni which appeared in the newspaper “Pravda.”
Russians refer to the ornaments on their New Year’s trees as “toys.”
After the Revolution and the Civil War, Russia was in financial ruin. To
jumpstart the economy, Lenin introduced the New Economic Policy, a form
of limited capitalism. NEP successfully revived the economy, but there was
much resentment among the party faithful of the NEP-men who became
wealthy and lived lavishly.
Irina Margolina (documentary filmmaker): Vertov did this film to advertise
the production abilities of the new advertising agency/filmmaker Goskino,
for whom he had just gone to work (the organization’s phone number and
address appear in the film).
Total Running Time: 10:44 min
3. Samoyed Boy, 1928, directed by V. and Z. Brumberg, N. Khodataev,
O. Khodataeva. 3 rd Factory of Sovkino. Made as a silent film.
In the Soviet Union everyone was suppose to have equal opportuny. In
“Samoyed Boy,” a Nenetz (Eskimo) boy exposes the tricks of the shaman
(tribal medicine man/magician) who members of the tribe believe can cure
them by putting animal spirits into their bodies. Humiliated, the shaman
drives the boy from the village. He is rescued by a Soviet ship and taken to
Leningrad where he studies at special University for Northern Peoples --
beneath the portraits of Marx and Lenin.
Irina Margolina (documentary filmmaker): A classic of Soviet animation.
The first film for children. It was done in the tradition of the primitive
painting of the USSR’s Northern peoples (like Chukcha and Eskimos). It
was the first Soviet film based on culture of the Northern people.
Total Running Time: 7:02 min.
4. Little Music Box. 1933. directed by N. Khodataev. Soyuzfilm.
Based on a chapter of the famous novel “Story of One Town” by
Saltikov-Shedrin. The novel, about the inane bureaucracy of the Russian
government under the Czar during the mid 19 th century, was banned during
Stalin’s reign, as were all books by Saltikov-Shedrin.
Irina Margolina (documentarian): The film was shelved in the same
year it was made because it was considered to be a satire on social realism
and collective farms; it showed peasants as poor. It was never shown again
until perestroika. In his diaries Khodataev makes clear that he was so
shocked by the fate of “Little Music Box” that he abandoned his career in
animation after making just one more film.
The original sound track was received in terrible condition, and was restored
as much as possible.
Total Running Time: 20:18 min.
5. Lenin’s Kino Pravda (Truth in Cinema), 1924, presumed to be
directed by Dziga Vertov. Made as a silent film.
According to this film the capitalist countries celebrated Lenin’s death in
1924, which they expected to bring the demise of the USSR; instead 100,000
more Soviets joined the Russian Communist Party.
Not listed on the definitive website animator.ru, but Irina Margolina credits
Dziga Vertov with making the film.
Total Running Time: 0.53 min.
6. Results of the XII Party Congress (of Cooperation), circa 1925,
Made as a silent film, it extols the virtues of working together and
Total Running time: 3:51 min
7. Victorious Destination, 1939, directed Leonid Amalrik, Dmitry
Babichenko, Viktor Pokolnikov, Soyuzmultfilm.
A political cinema poster celebrating the achievements of the “Bolshevik
Locomotive” -- Joseph Stalin’s first three 5-Year Plans. The Film applauds
the Party’s destruction of millions of peasant farmers (kulaks) considered to
have capitalist psychology, and trumpets achievements of mythical coal
miner Alexei Stakhanov who exceeded all norms for productivity. Some of
the original music, written specifically for the film to underscore the
Stakhanov sequences, was not restorable. It was replaced with the popular
song “Life Is Getting Better and Happier.” The song was based on a line
from a speech given by Stalin to extol the Stakhanov Movement.
Total Running Time: 6:15 min.
8. War Chronicles, 1939, directed by Dmitry Babichenko.
The story of the invasion of Russia, during the revolution, by foreign troops
from the United States, Canada, the U.K., Japan, Czechoslavakia and
Poland. Original sound in poor condition and had to be restored.
Total Running Time: 8:59 min.
9. A Hot Stone, 1965, directed by Perch Sarkissian. Soyuzmultfilm.
Based on a story by A.Gaidar. An old man’s memories about the glorious
Total Running Time: 16:37 min.
10. Songs of the Years of Fire, 1971, directed by Inessa Kovalevskaya.
Dedicated to the “Glorious Red Army,” this spirited film animates some of
the most famous songs from the Civil War period like “Tachanka,”
Meadowlands” (Polushka Pole), and “White Army, Black Baron” (Krasnaya
Armia-Chornyi Baron). The music was recorded by the Alexandrov
Orchestra and the State Symphony Orchestra of Cinematography
(conducted by E. Khachaturyan).
Total Running Time: 16:51 min.
11. Plus Electrification, 1972, directed by Ivan Aksenchuk.
Executed with Disney-like animation by one of Soyuzmultfilm’s leading
directors of films for children. “Plus Electrification” triumphs the USSR’s
drive to bring electricity to every town and village. It was a tenet of
Vladimir Lenin that electrification plus Soviet power [vlast] would lead to
Communism. Electricity is shown dramatically uniting the economies of
USSR and the Eastern bloc countries through production of consumer goods
like Czech crystal and Hungarian buses.
Total Running Time: 8:58 min.
• Igor Kokarev, Professor of Film Sociology, Russian State Film
• Fyodor Khitruk, director and animator, Soyuzmultfilm
• Vladimir Tarasov, director and animator, Soyuzmultfilm
• Boris Yefimov, satirist, artist and writer