Battleship Potemkin and Mazower

Watching Battleship Potemkin confronted me with the raw power of a political film with no three dimensional characters. Each individual possesses individuality only inasmuch as they represent a certain aspect of a cause or argument. The child shot by the czarist soldiers and crushed by the stampeding crowd careening down the steps facing the Odessa harbor matters because of the innocence he comes to embody in the face of czarist barbarity. The same goes for the film’s protagonist, the sailor and revolutionary Vakulinchuk, whose life, death, and words all act to symbolize the fundamental goodness of the communist cause, the heroism of its leaders, so unwilling to submit to fear in the face of their totalitarian enemy that their martyrdom suffices to drive crowds into a revolutionary frenzy.… Read the rest here