Misery and Fortune of Women
(Women’s Misery, Women’s Happiness)
Made in Switzerland by cinematographer Eduard Tisse and “supervised” by Eisenstein, Misery and Fortune of Women is a treatise on the need for legal abortions at a time when two million European women each year sought to end their pregnancies clandestinely. The first, narrative half of the film—beautifully made in classic Soviet montage style—tells of women forced by the self-righteous medical establishment to resort to brutal illegal abortionists. The second half is a documentary on proper medical treatment of women, though a Constructivist joy in the modern makes even these supposedly benign health workers and their marvelous machines seem formidable.
Sergei Eisenstein, Grigori Alexandrov, France, 1930
Dramatic images of nature, shot by the great Eduard Tisse, form a counterpoint to melancholy interiors in this poetic montage set to a Russian song.