The Soviet Influence: From Turksib to Night Mail

This fascinating package explores the influence of classic Soviet documentary Turksib on British filmmaking.

In the early 1930s, under the nervous eye of the censor, Soviet propaganda films were shown in Britain. They played a central role in developing ideas about film as an art form. This fascinating package explores the influence of classic, yet little-seen, Soviet documentary Turksib on British documentary films, including the celebrated Night Mail.

  • Turksib (Victor Turin, 1929): bold and exhilarating, Turksib charts the building of the Turkestan-Siberian railway. Presented in the English version prepared in 1930 by John Grierson, with an evocative new score by Guy Bartell (Bronnt Industries Kapital).
  • The Workers’ Topical News No 1 (1930): the newsreel shown at Turksib British premiere.
  • Australian Wine (Paul Rotha, 1931): charming and lively promotional film employing Soviet-style montage.
  • The Country Comes to Town (Basil Wright, 1931): a celebration of the importance of the British countryside.
  • Shadows on the Mountains (Arthur Elton, 1932): expressive titles and cinematography are deployed in this lyrical film about farming.
  • The Face of Britain (Paul Rotha, 1935): a passionate and ambitious appeal for socialist planning.
  • Night Mail (Harry Watt, Basil Wright, 1936): justly celebrated, this seminal film applies the aesthetic lessons of Soviet cinema to a very British tale.

Product information

    • Certificate

      PG

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound and Silent

    • Running time

      163mins

    • Languages

      English and silent with music

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIB1130

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