BAMPFA Student Committee Pick!
Anne Nesbet is an associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and film and media at UC Berkeley.
Nikolai Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikozov, Vera Ivasheva,
Eisenstein’s first completed sound film, Alexander Nevsky features not just a score by Sergei Prokofiev, but a brilliant formal collaboration, a form of cinematic opera based on Eisenstein’s theories of contrapuntal dynamics. Made on the eve of World War II, the film, though set in 1241, had the authority of a contemporary documentary: its portrayal of a nationalist hero in a peaceful village courageously confronting foreign invaders points to the imminent danger of a German invasion of Russia. The famed “Battle on the Ice” is memorable indeed, but the film’s calmer, lyrical moments emphasize how life is interrupted by violence, however patriotic the call.