The Soviet Circus Welcomes all Nationalities

The film Circus, produced by the Soviet Union in 1936, was made in order to propagate the Union’s ideals and acceptance of all nationalities. The main hero, Marion Dixon, is chased out of the United States because of racial intolerance against her black son, Jimmy. Marion stumbles across Fronk Kneishitz, a wealthy German, who offers to take her traveling around the world and conceal the identity of her son in order to avoid persecution. Marion and Fronk Kneishitz end up on tour in Russia, where she soon meets an exemplary Soviet man, Martinov, and falls in love with him.… Read the rest here

Life’s a Circus

The 1936 Russian Soviet film, Circus, directed by Grigori Aleksandrov and Isidor Simkov, tells the story of a famous American performer, Marion Dixon, as she flees from the United States after persecution from giving birth to a black child. She goes with a corrupt theatrical agent, Franz von Kneishitz, who looks suspiciously like Adolf Hitler, to Russia where she becomes a circus performer. After falling in love with another performer, Ivan Petrovich Martinov, von Kneishitz becomes jealous and not only prevents her from staying with Petrovich, but actively abuses Marion, despite claiming to love her.… Read the rest here

Come one, come all

Aleksandrov and Simkov’s 1936 work of “Circus” combines the elements of farce, comedy, vaudeville, and melodrama in order to produce a ubiquitously enjoyable, light-hearted tale of heroism in the face of adversity laced with prominent themes of existing world politics and the Soviet socialist cause. The simple plot revolves mainly around the exploits of a fictitious American circus performer, Marion Dixon, and her engagements in love and peril as she tries to seek sanctuary in the Soviet Union in an attempt to escape the bigoted derision she faces in America at the cause of her being the mother to a black child.… Read the rest here

The Great Russian Melting Pot

The 1936 Soviet film “Circus” follows Marion Dixon, an American woman who flees to the USSR after giving birth to a biracial child. Once in Russia, Marion becomes a popular circus artist and falls in love with a fellow performer, Petrovich Martynov. The film was laced with comical antics and melodramatic, intertwining romances, but the end blatantly revealed underlying political messages concerning race and nationality, and the power of the Soviet government to inspire and mobilize its population.… Read the rest here

Circus

The Soviet film, Circus, made in 1936, was about an American Circus artist who was performing in the Soviet Union.  She had left the United States in favor of the Soviet Union because of the racial intolerance towards her and her black son.   The aim of the film, Circus, was to demonize the west, particularly the United States and Nazi Germany, for their inequality and racism.

One of the most vivid scenes came at the end of film when a man looking like Hitler stopped the Circus and attempted to demonize the American circus artist for giving birth to a black child.  … Read the rest here

Circus

In the Russian film, Circus, directed by Grigori Aleksandrov, a clear message is carried throughout the entire content of the film. One can automatically catch on to the film’s pro-Soviet message, which includes a positive portrayal of the country. This is first is shown when Marion finds refuge in the Soviet Union from the United States because she is the mother of an African American baby. The film tells the audience that the Soviet Union does not discriminate against any race and embraces everyone with open arms, portraying themselves in a positive manner and informing the nation on their improvement as a collective group.… Read the rest here

“To Catch Up and Overtake”

Watching Aleksandrov’s “Circus” it’s certainly hard to not notice the main message of the film, propaganda of national equality and tolerance among the soviet people. However, the plot itself is based on another interesting idea.

“To catch up and overtake [capitalists/America/etc]” is the slogan used for a really long time to explain the motivation of soviet people to work hard to reach the level of the Western countries and to be better then they are in everything.… Read the rest here

Circus as a metaphor for Soviet Collectiveness

The film “Circus” portrays a white American actress Marion Dixon attempting to integrate into Soviet culture while struggling to conceal the existence of her black child. After fleeing from the racial West (specifically America), Marion moves to Moscow to join the circus with her manager, who blackmails her and threatens to expose her secret. However, Marion’s career in the circus provides her with a sense of community and belonging. When her manager attempts to humiliate her, he exposes her baby to the entire audience and is shocked when the audience warmly embrace the baby and proclaim that they do not discriminate against children.… Read the rest here

“Circus” and the Portrayal of Racism in the West

“Circus” is an exciting, dramatic movie from the 1930s. The main character, an American named Marion Dixon, escapes from America (specifically the South) during the era of Jim Crow laws, as she gave birth to a black child. Working in a circus in the Soviet Union, she conceals the knowledge of her child from almost everyone. In one of the final scenes of the movie, her manager (a German), storms into the ring with her child, attempting to disgrace her.… Read the rest here

Beating the System: Socialist Realism

During the Soviet Union, especially the Stalin era, the state controlled members of all professions- including artists, architects, writers, musicians, and directors.  Members of these professions were forced to join unions and would be expelled from the unions if they did not follow their strict rules.  Basically, the rules stated that all art had to glorify the state.  Artists who wrote about other topics were expelled from the unions and their careers were ruined.  Artists who dared criticize the state were sent to the gulags.… Read the rest here