Russia: Czar to Lenin (review)
- Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
- Center for the Study of Film and History
- Volume 2, Number 4, December 1972
- p. 96
- Additional Information
character of the Soviet Union today. The usual official jargon and rhetoric is kept to a minimum. This film may be used in unitized parts of ten minutes each or as a fully integrated whole of fifty minutes. It was very well received by my undergraduate Russian history survey class as part of a general introduction to the subject matter of the course. Map ofthe USSR is only one of approximately two hundred 1 6mm films on various subjects available on free loan from the Film Library, Embassy of the USSR, 1 125 16th Street, N. W., Washington , D. C. 20036. An annual catalog is free for the asking' (Course, Russian History) Dr. Dennis Reinhartz, Madison College, Harrisonburg, Virginia The Battle of Culloden (BBC-Time Life, 1969) 72 min. b&w This film is a vivid recreation of the final battle of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46. Led by Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, the Scottish army is seen being decimated by the British who afterwards use their victory to break the power of the Highland clans. The film shows the armies on the day ofbattle, the battle itself, and the aftermath with the indiscriminate slaughter of Scots and their families. It takes the form of an interviewer recording the events from a reasonably impartial position. (He is not, however, afraid to make strong value judgments.) This technique is, ofcourse, out of character for the time period but it is hard to think how it could have been done better. This method allows the soldiers, from the lowest to the comma ding officers, to explain their reasons for being there. It allows the commentator to describe the social structure of the Highland clans, the methods ofrecruiting in the 1 8th century, the nature of the rebellion, this battle, and the pacification of the Highlands. The film is quite graphic in showing the gore of battle and the no less violent aftermath . Taken as a whole, The Battle of Culloden. while explaining why the Young Pretender lost and how the clan power was broken, effectively shows us a part of 1 8th century life that is rarely seen up close—war, with all its grimness. (Course, A History of England II) Charles A. Watson, Roger Williams College, Bristol, Rhode Island Russia: Czar to Lenin (McGraw Hill, 1966) 30-min. b&w This film consists entirely of newsreel clips taken between 1914-20 according to the distributors. It obviously tries to show too much history in too short of time so that students should not be expected to learn details ofRussian history from it. This is particularly true of the March Revolution which is on the screen before you realize what it is. The scenes are usually quite short, so much so that many of the people being filmed - obviously important people - are not and could not be named. The film's strength, ofcourse, is that it pictorially shows some well-known people-particularly the two named in the title. The scenes range from the mildly humorous one of the aristocracy swimming in a lake nude (male only) to the grotesque ones ofWhites executing Reds by firing squad. The students liked the film because the scenes and people were "real". It can be used as supplementary material for courses in 20th century history—whether advanced or as part of a modern Europe survey. It can also be used as a take-offfor a discussion of the merits and limitations of this type offilm. (Course, 20th Century Europe: 1914-1939) Charles A. Watson, Roger Williams College, Bristol, Rhode Island 96 ...