<i>The Storming of the Winter Palace.</i> 1920. USSR. Directed by Nikolai Evreinov. Courtesy the Swedish Film Institute
  • The Storming of the Winter Palace

    1920. USSR. Nikolai Evreinov. 90 min.

Presented by Daria Kitrova, Yuri Tsivian. With piano accompaniment by Donald Sosin

Saturday, October 26, 2013, 4:30 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

  • The Storming of the Winter Palace

    1920. USSR. Directed by Nikolai Evreinov. The Storming of the Winter Palace, filmed in Soviet Russia in 1920 and receiving its world premiere at MoMA, is the triumphant reunion of two halves of a single film that were separated sometime in the last 90 years. We may never know what vagaries of history caused this newsreel of the 1920 Soviet mass spectacle to be torn in two, one part ending up in Sweden and the other remaining in the USSR. But we are indebted to Daria Khitrova and Yuri Tsivian, two Russian film and theater historians who identified and researched previously missing footage, and to the Swedish and Russian archivists for their expertise and efforts in making it possible to premiere these two films together for the first time in nearly a century. Khitrova and Tsivian, who present this newsreel as an illustrated lecture, write, “Why 1920 when, as we know, the actual storming of the Winter Palace took place in October 1917? The footage we are showing is not of the actual coup d’état but of its on-site recreation timed to mark the third anniversary of the historic event. The Storming of the Winter Palace staged in 1920 was a giant all-night full-square spectacle that involved more than 2,500 participants: workers, soldiers, and actors (and, among the latter, the entire cast of the former Imperial Ballet!) and attracted, despite the weather, more than 100,000 spectators. Staged by the theater director Nikolai Evreinov, painter Yuri Annenkov and future Oscar-winning Hollywood composer Dimitri Tiomkin, the 1920 Storming of the Winter Palace was both a boldly grotesque avant-garde endeavor and an exercise in heroic iconography to become firmly imprinted in films and history books about the October Revolution, and, through those, in the hearts and minds of every Soviet kid.” Archival footage preserved by the Swedish Film Institute and the Russian State Archives of Film and Photo Documents. 90 min.