Peter Bagrov is a film historian, curator, and archivist specializing in early Russian and Soviet cinema. He currently serves as vice president of the International Federation of Film Archives and until recently was the senior curator at Gosfilmofond of Russia.
Alexander Antonov, Grigori Alexandrov, Vladimir Barsky, Mikhail Gomorov,
Instructed to make a film to commemorate the 1905 revolution, Eisenstein chose to base his script on the mutiny on the battleship Potemkin of the Black Sea Fleet and the ensuing involvement of the people of Odessa. The sailors’ revolt is both premise and metaphor for a tale told virtually entirely through images and their rhythmic juxtaposition and repetition, the purest cinema imaginable; the massacre on the Odessa steps is justifiably one of the most celebrated sequences in film history. But perhaps Potemkin’s triumph is, as historian Georges Sadoul wrote, “not only the perfection of its form, but the humanitarianism and enthusiasm that impregnated its revolutionary subject.”