Fragment of an Empire. 1929. USSR. Directed by Friedrich Ermler. Screenplay by Friedrich Ermler, Katerina Vinogradskaya. With Sergei Gerasimov, Yakov Gudkin, Valeri Solovtzov. DCP. Courtesy the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Silent, with musical accompaniment. 109 min.
“In the tradition of the propagandist film, Fragment of an Empire, deals with immediate social problems, but differs from the majority of the type in the quantity and problems touched and in the depth and acuteness of its criticism. Ermler and Vinogradskaya wrote into their scenario the most serious problems of the period—the human aspects of socialist construction, questions of new working relationships, of mass culture (and its misuses), and of marriage and modern domestic life, since private discord reacts upon social well-being.”