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.
Sound and Silent
English and silent with music
Original aspect ratio
2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories