100 years lost: the film about the Russian civil war celebrates its world premiere

The world premiere of a film that was believed to be lost has taken place in the Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam. The strip by Dziga Vertov dates from 1921. It’s 100 years old, just as old as the Art Deco building in the center of the Dutch city.

Dziga Vertov, a director of the Soviet avant-garde and author of “The Man with the Camera”, was the focus of the IDFA International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, the world’s largest meeting place for documentary lovers and professionals.

The film historian Nikolai Izvolov presented the lost version of Dziga Vertov’s “The History of the Civil War” about the war between the communist Bolsheviks and the white anti-revolutionary army.

“This film was shot 100 years ago and this year, exactly one hundred years after it was made, it was restored”says Nikolai Izvolov. “We have to restore and find many films from the past. About 90 percent of our films from the silent film era have been lost. That is why we, the film historians, work on restoring these films and sometimes we present them to the public, and we are happy that this old one.” Film (Vertov’s “The History of the Civil War”, editor’s note) is a success. “

The Bolshevik propaganda strip, which shows the bloody suppression of the white counterrevolutionaries, has only been shown once in 1921, after which the trace of the work was lost.

“Nobody in Russia and in the whole world knows Philip Mironov, few know Trotsky, one knows his name but does not know who he was”, says producer Konstantin Grinberg-Vertogradsky. “This film is very important because this war was a very bloody war, a little-known war, but Russia lost many millions of people in that civil war.”

Inglorious past

An inglorious past that shows the cruelty of the fighting, strangely enough, the recordings showing Stalin have disappeared despite the research. The performance was accompanied live by “The Anvil Orchestra”, which gives it a very special charisma.

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“I wrote a lot of film accompaniments, for example for documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival, there is sound, sound design and music – the music is in the background”, explains composer and musician Roger Clark Miller. “There is only music here, so we are the sound design and we also replace the language. We are active in every film scene because there is no sound. Sometimes Terry hits his gong when an explosion occurs. You may not notice it, but you can feel it that the music is part of the film. “

Screenings in Moscow and Venice

The film will be shown in Moscow for the Russian premiere in spring and at the next Venice Film Festival.

100 years after its first and only performance, “The History of the Civil War” by Dziga Vertov is finally available to everyone. Restored images from the past reconstructing the history of Europe, Russia and the 20th century.