By Katrin ROTHE


Documentary - Completed 2017

A cut-out animation on artists in times of revolution. Petersburg, Russia in 1917: What did they do between the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and the seizure of power by the Bolshevists in October?

& Awards

Solothurner Filmtage 2017
    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Drama, Animation
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • GERMAN
    • Duration
    • 90 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Katrin ROTHE
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Petersburg, 1917: Russian artists in the year of the two revolutions. The Tsar has abdicated and anything seems possible. A cinematographic approach to the events during the eight months between the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution and the Bolshevik coup in October, told from the perspective of the artists involved who were already world-famous or soon would be.

      The actuality of the dream to the end the tsarist regime brings with it many new problems. Rampaging mobs roam the streets of Petersburg. The established giants of the Russian cultural life, the internationally famous writer MAXIM GORKI (58) and the successful painter and aesthete ALEXANDER BENUA (47), worry about the preservation of their traditional cultural heritage. The eccentric, young poet WLADIMIR MAJAKOWSKIJ (20) rushes tirelessly through the city and dreams of a new world and truly democratic art. Everything should be organised afresh and improved, even cultural life. The enterprising avant-gardist and soldier KASIMIR MALEWITSCH (49) heads the political movement and publishes one manifesto after the other. As the struggle for power escalates, these artists fight for cultural renewal and for their cultural heritage. The goalposts for what is right and wrong have been moved. Some good ideas peter out, and other ideas often conflict with each other. Nobody has sole monopoly over truth and beauty anymore.

      The subsequently glorified October Revolution was not a one-time event. The year 1917 in Petersburg was a period of unparalleled upheaval. The animated film "The Real October" tells the story about what happened during this time. Based on the latest historical research and previously unpublished original sources, what were widely held to be myths and legends are broken down from the perspective of everyday life and a new narrative is created. We see how people, who at that time were a lot less political than we assume today, go from one step to the next, how they deceive or are deceived, how they save what is left to be saved. It was a turbulent time. Everybody was searching.

      The film is aimed at young adults. The 'off-hand' collage animation and the absurdity of some events provide for an entertaining narrative and bring the spirit of the artist back to life. "The Real October" also offers an original alternative to the representation of past events.

      It is especially poignant now as the pathos of the democratic revolutions leads into the darkness of civil wars and the reorientation of dictatorships, and we witness once more how hard it is to keep a clear perspective in troubled times and to do the right thing. It could have turned out completely differently.