Sergei EisensteinUSSR94 minutes1924B&WSilent
"One of the most audacious debuts in film history, as much of a groundbreaker as Citizen Kane" (Bill Marx, The Boston Phoenix). In Sergei Eisenstein's stunning first feature, a factory strike escalates into full-scale chaos when the Cossacks move in to protect the property; in the famous final sequences, which rival the Odessa Steps sequence in Potemkin, the massacre of the workers is intercut with the slaughter of cattle. As David Bordwell notes in his study of the director, "Strike sets the pattern for Eisenstein's silent features in several ways. It launches his chronicle-myth of revolutionary history; it establishes his mixture of naturalism and stylization; [and] it initiates his research into 'film language' and methods of montage." "Strike is an enormous work, complex, blinding, terrible, suffocating, moving in its old world of top-hatted tyrants and suffering proletariat with a rocket's speed. To see it is an experience" (Dilys Powell).