From the October Revolution to Perestroika
Sponsored by Films by Jove
The Russian Revolution of 1917 divided the world into two ideological camps: Capitalist and Communist. For the next 74 years the Communists would wage a war of words and images against their Capitalist enemies. Their goal: To capture the hearts and minds of the Soviet masses. To turn them against the enemy who they said ruthlessly exploited the average citizen. To turn them toward the State, run by peasants and workers who “cared “ about their welfare and guaranteed them health, education and full time employment.
From 1924 to perestroika the USSR produced more than 4 dozen animated propaganda films. Anti American. Anti Imperialist. Anti Capitalist. Anti Fascist. The animated war for the minds of the people delivered the State's message in a clear and entertaining manner and promoted a tailored vision of Soviet history. Made by some of Soyuzmultfilm Studio's most talented directors and animators, they were as artistically beautiful and effective as the great political posters made after the 1917 revolution. A unique series with a unique perspective.
Saturday, September 25, 3:00 pm (National Gallery)
Sunday, September 26, 11:00 am (National Gallery)
Running time: 83:00 mins.
Black and White 
Leonid Amalrik & Ivan Ivanov-Vano / Russia / 3:00 (fragments) / DVD
Based on a poem of the same name by revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky
whose drawings they animated. Part of an aristocratic family which did not flee the
1918 Revolution, in the 20s Amalrik worked as an artist on The Interplanetary
Revolution and China in Flames. He is best known for directing several dozen of
Soyuzmultfilm's very popular animated children's films including Grey Neck, Snow
Postman and Thumbellina.
Mr. Twister 
Anatoly Karanovich / Soyuzmultfilm / Russia / 20:00 / DVD
Based on a popular poem by Samuel Marshak, a leading name in Soviet Russian
children's literature. Virtually every child who grew up prior to perestroika knew the
words to this poem by heart.
Ave Maria 
Ivan Ivanov-Vano / Soyuzmultfilm / Russia / 10:00 / DVD
The film, say members of Soyuzmultfilm, reflected Communist thinking at the time,
about the church and about the US involvement in Vietnam. It was widely shown in
cinemas until détente, when Brejznev met with Nixon, and then yanked from the
Roman Davidov / Soyuzmultfilm / Russia / 30:00 / DVD
Made just after the end of the liberalization period known as the Khruschev Spring by
Roman Davidov, who also directed Soyuzmultfilm's outstanding adaptation of Kipling's
The Jungle Book, Shareholder served as a renewed warning that unlike socialism, the
benefits of capitalism were only for the rich.
Proud Little Ship 
Vitold Bordzilovsky / Soyuzmultfilm / Russia / 20:00 / DVD
Three Soviet boys built a model of the Aurora, the battleship that fired the first shots of
the Revolution. The miniature ship sails around the world in the name of Soviet
friendship, only to be pursued by – Evil Capitalist Sharks. Vladimir Tarasov, the talented
director-artist best known in the west for his short film Contact.