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Three Songs of Lenin [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Dolores Ibárruri, Nadezhda Krupskaya, V.I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin
  • Directors: Dziga Vertov
  • Writers: Dziga Vertov
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • VHS Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302062462
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The original conception of this film was to translate into emotional terms, rather than to recount in factual terms, the life and meaning of Lenin. The first part of the film has the form of a ballad, the second of a dirge, the third of a marching song.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Yngvar Myrvold on July 10, 2003
Format: DVD
Dziga Vertov monopolized the Soviet documentary scene together with his brothers and Lev Kuleshov. His movies have reached vast audiences all over the world, and The Man with the movie camera always gets a vote or two in "Greatest films ever made"-polls.
I really looked forward to seeing Vertov's early films, shot in 1923-24. Before that, film stock wasn't readily accessible to filmmakers in the Soviet union.
Vertov developed Kuleshov's theory of montage in those early years and put them to good use in the films featured on this DVD. The 6 Kino-eye shorts was a pioneering venture into the Soviet experience. Vertov sought to bring witness to how the word of communism was spread throughout the countryside and in the cities. If this meant tampering a bit with the footage he shot, well - so be it!
The protagonists of the first three films are "the Young pioneers", a group of young teens who help out wherever they can. They help widows harvesting the crop and old people with shopping and cleaning. They also urge people to buy their meat and veggies at the Communist food market and not at private grocers.(We also follow the meat backwards from the counter to the cow, would you believe!)
The do-gooders still find time to collect the children in the village and explain what communism is all about and request that they join the Communist party.
Later, there are intercut scenes from everyday life, work and leisure. Great stuff. Enthusiasm runs through the footage, this is a young man using the camera as his gun, shooting at will, and getting some marvellous treasure from his effort.
Historically, you can't even begin to measure the value of Kino eye. These people are real, this stuff happened. It's a closed chapter in history, and will probably never be repeated.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Beth Fox on March 28, 2005
Format: DVD
Though often slow-going, these Soviet propaganda films are of extreme historical interest. They should be seen by anyone intrigued by Lenin, the history of the USSR, or the Communist movement in general.

Kino-Eye is probably one of the earliest Soviet documentaries still available. Made in 1924, this silent (obviously) film tracks the adventures of a troop of Young Pioneers as they travel from village to village, set up camp, farm, and teach Communism. It also includes shots of a Chinese magician, an elephant, and various collective enterprises. At this early date, the director was clearly having fun with the new film technology: as the film rolls backwards, we see bread returning to wheat, a diver emerging from the water and back to the board, and meat going back to a cow. What we really see, however, is just how poor this country was in 1924. There is perhaps one car and one ambulance in the whole film; children walk around barefoot, and the villagers obviously had little access to dentistry. Contrast this film with "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City," to show how advanced Germany was only three years later. (Yes, perhaps I'm comparing apples and oranges, but some of the shots in Kino-Eye take place in a big city too, with streetcars visible.)

By the time the second film, "Three Songs About Lenin," was made, Communist rule had crystallized. This film is Lenin hagiography at its best. The first "song," "My face was in a dark prison," shows us a Muslim girl from Turkmenistan who wears one of the most restrictive face coverings outside Afghanistan. Thanks to Lenin, she learns to read, works on a collective farm, and learns to shoot a gun. This topic would never be presented this way today, but it certainly is timely.
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By Juan Jose Namnun on October 20, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
dizga vertov maybe the wiser of the Russian filmmakers Hoffman family
kinoglass if film school material
and the second movie starts with some beautiful shots of trees on a Russian rural house and an arrangement of the pathetic sonata...
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12 of 26 people found the following review helpful By "unhelpful" on June 24, 2000
Format: DVD
Vertov's work is interesting more for its documentary achievement than for its claims as "pure cinema" (a term that is quite meaningless 70 years after it first raised a few eyebrows). Otis Ferguson had the last word to say on the subject of Three Songs About Lenin in his essay "Artists Among the Flickers" in 1934. But Vertov's work is startling to watch today, now that the Revolution had been discredited and that Lenin is universally excoriated. But the feel of that time, the sense of fervent optimism, of a society breaking new ground and - seemingly - finding new solutions to old problems, is captured hypnotically by Vertov in Kino-Eye. It's no accudent that another of his famous films was called 'Enthusiasm'.
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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Mitchell on February 21, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As you might expect, a 70 year old communist propoganda film is not gripping entertainment.
The first "song" is the saga of how the revolution liberated a woman from the oppression and ignorance of Islam. A powerful topic that not many people would dare to tackle today. She goes from being imprisoned in her veil to a free woman, attending school, driving a tractor and learning to shoot a gun.
But as we know, communism was no utopia either.
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