The General Line

(Generalnaya liniya)
(Staroye i novoye), (The Old and the New)

BAMPFA Collection

  • Lecture

    Anne Nesbet is an associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and film and media at UC Berkeley.

  • Judith Rosenberg
    On Piano

Marfa Lapkina, Vasili Buzenkov, Konstantin Vasiliev,

The General Line also screens on March 17 as part of the series Sergei Eisenstein: Films That Shook the World.

Eisenstein’s first contemporary, rural subject, The General Line tells of a peasant woman’s struggle against superstition, hostility, and greed in her attempt to form a collective and bring to it a bull, a cream separator, and a tractor. This is Eisenstein’s “Russian Gothic,” populated with wonderful types and filled with humor and earthy imagery. It boasts a cream-separator spectacle to rival Busby Berkeley, wheat fields worthy of Tolstoy, and marvelous antibureaucratic satire on the level of the Russian Eccentrics. Our print is a partial restoration of the director’s cut, with the title and ending as they were before Stalin called for a re-edit.

Judy Bloch
  • Sergei Eisenstein
  • Grigori Alexandrov
  • Eduard Tissé
  • Silent
  • Russian intertitles with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 35mm
  • Silent
  • 108 mins