The Anniversary of the Revolution, Dziga Vertov, Russia, 1918, 119' DCP, OV RUS Sub ES
The Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov made his film debut with The Anniversary of the Revolution (1918), celebrating the first anniversary of the October Revolution in Russia and characterized by his distinctive style of filmmaking based on the principle of montage. The centenary of its release will occur in November 2018. It was a huge feature film, more than 3000 meters long, a record for the period of the Civil War. The events depicted in the film cover the period from February 1917 (the bourgeois February Revolution) to the end of the summer of 1918 (the beginning of the Civil War in Russia).
Starting with the early 1920s, the film was cannibalized for material in other montage films about the early period of Soviet power, especially in other films by Vertov, who in his work continually re-used material from his previous films. This is the reason why no copies of the film have survived, and for many years the film was believed to be lost.
And so, one hundred years after its making, this film of Vertov’s is being reborn to a new life. Vertov is one of the founders of documentary film, a classic of the avant garde in film, and the maker of the greatest documentary film of all times and places, The Man With the Movie Camera (1929). The rediscovery of his first film is a momentous event for film scholars and enthusiasts at home and abroad.