Georges Didi-Huberman and Jeu de Paume have put together a programme of films and discussions to amplify the themes of the exhibition “Soulèvements.” It includes Strike, Eisenstein’s famous first film.
It is 1912. Revolt is simmering in one of the biggest factories in Tsarist Russia. Pushed to their limits by execrable conditions, the workers threaten to strike for their rights. When a worker commits suicide after being accused of theft by the bosses, they take to the streets. Rather than yield to their demands, the factory directors choose confrontation and call in government troops, who occupy the worker’s quarter.
For his first film, Eisenstein chose to present an exemplary form of resistance to oppression: the strike. But rather than offer a realistic description or historical reconstitution, he made what could be taken as a “striker’s manual for all generations everywhere.”
Strike ends with a resonant injunction: “Proletarian, never forget!”
Strike by Sergei Eisenstein (Russia, 1924, 78’).
Screening Saturday 7 January at 2 pm.
Admission: 3 euros or free with exhibition ticket (only on the same day).