Pudovkin’s “The End of St. Petersburg” to screen in L.A.
Scene from The End of St. Petersburg.

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Workers Center and Hollywood Progressive co-present the 1927 revolutionary classic The End of St. Petersburg. It is the penultimate installment in the series “Ten Films That Shook the World: A Cinematic Centennial Celebration of the Russian Revolution.”

V.I. Pudovkin’s second full-length feature film was commissioned by the Bolsheviks to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution. The End of St. Petersburg is similar to Pudovkin’s 1926 Mother in that it follows the rise in consciousness of one of the oppressed masses. The movie depicts the proletarianization of the peasantry under the czar. It also has some of the most visceral, as well as sophisticated, antiwar critiques ever seen onscreen, with a scathing look at the stock market, war profiteers and the horrors of World War I. Swept by the whirlwind of history, the initially backward peasant protagonist becomes caught up in a dramatic reenactment of the storming of the Winter Palace.

In Jay Leyda’s definitive movie history book Kino Sergei Eisenstein’s American film student wrote that The End of St. Petersburg was one of “the two most important films for the October Jubilee.” The other motion picture commissioned to pay tribute to Kerensky’s overthrow  was Eisenstein’s Ten Days That Shook the World, the final film in the “Ten Films That Shook the World” series, to be screened at 7:30 pm on the exact 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Tues., Nov. 7th.

The program will include clips from the English language version of the new French documentary Red in Blue, about Hollywood’s movies on the Russian Revolution, such as Dr. Zhivago and Reds. French filmmakers Guillaume Lebeau and Thibaut Bertrand are flying from Paris to present the clips as part of The End of St. Petersburg program. (Another scene featuring film historian Ed Rampell will be screened during the Hollywood Blacklist Commemoration on the evening of Oct. 27 at the Writers Guild Theater.) Red in Blue in its entirety will be presented in its U.S. premiere at 10:30 am on Nov. 4 during the Left Coast Forum at L.A. Trade Technical College.

Before each screening a speaker briefly introduces each film and filmmaker. After the movie the speaker will make additional remarks, followed by a Q&A. The French filmmakers will also do a Q&A. Light refreshments are served. The black and white silent films, with English subtitles and musical soundtracks, are screened under imperfect conditions, although this is a chance to see them projected on a big screen. Admission is free, although donations and potluck contributions are accepted. Film historian/critic Ed Rampell, author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States, is the series’ programmer/co-presenter. For further info please see laworkersedsoc@gmail.com.

This screening of The End of St. Petersburg is the ninth in a monthly film series running through November 2017 to commemorate and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the February and October 1917 Revolutions in Russia, and 1905’s mass uprisings. All ten films screened during these ten months are Soviet cinema classics, among the greatest political films ever made. See the entire schedule here.

The screening will take place on Sun., Oct. 29 at 4:00 pm at the Los Angeles Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Pl., L.A. 90019. The End of St. Petersburg is 89 minutes, and the Red in Blue clips about 10 minutes.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.