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10 Essential Russian Films

Battleship Potemkin

Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 silent Soviet classic depicts the 1905 Russian naval mutiny that incited a massacre with officers of the Tsarist regime. It’s probably the most stunning piece of propaganda you’ll ever watch. This was Russia’s rise from the ashes after the Revolution, and the film’s most exaggerated, dramatic moments (namely the Odessa Steps sequence, depicting the death of a mother and a tragic, heart-stopping end for her child) helped Battleship supersede its political strategies. The film’s rapid-paced montages have been copied by cinema’s finest, and although Battleship is nearly 90 years old, it remains a gripping piece of filmic history.

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