Film 312 in the ‘1001 Films to see before you die’ challenge is 1925’s “Strike”. Or to give it it’s Russian title, “Stachka“. Directed by Sergei M. Eisenstein, this Russian drama is about a strike in 1903 by the workers of a factory in pre-revolutionary Russia, and their subsequent suppression. This film made no sense whatsoever. At no point did they explain why the workers of this factory were planning to strike. All we get told is that one worker got wrongly accused of stealing and rather than argue that he didn’t steal anything, he hangs himself. Huh? Apart from that, nothing in this film made any sense. Why did we spend countless minutes in a pet shop when it had nothing to do with the plot? Why was there a homeless looking man selling ice cream to kids? Why was there a man chopping ice? Why are all the higher powers of this factory extremely overweight? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? None of these questions were answered at all. It was if the director made the film then realised that it wasn’t long enough so he decided to make it longer with scenes that have no relevance to the plot. I lasted 25 minutes before I gave in and switched the film off. Fun Fact – This was the director’s first ever full-length film. He had made one short film prior to this with 1923’s “Dnevnik’s Diary”. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1925’s “Strike”
Film – Strike (Stachka)
Year – 1925
Director – Sergei M. Eisenstein
Written by – Grigori Aleksandrov, Ilya Kravchunovsky, Sergei M Eisenstein, Valeryan Pletnyov
Staring – Grigoi Aleksandrov, Maksim Shtraukh, Mikhail Gomorov
IMDb Rating – 7.6/10
My Rating – WHY
Length – 95 min (1h 35min)
Genre – Drama
A film about The Worker’s Movement in Russia
6 parts!!! Oh boy
So… Lenin, 1907, claimed that without organisation there would be no working class… OK then
We open with a fat man in a top hat laughing
Sherlock Holmes! What he doing here?
Those men aren’t even working! They’re playing ‘Don’t Get Knocked Off the Crane by the Hook’
What the hell is with the acting?
The receptionist was meant to look shocked but ended up looking like a zombie
Also… Why are all the bosses in this factory extremely fat?
You have a book of spies hidden in your draw? Why?
Cut to a man smoking a pipe stroking a monkey
If this is a pet shop then why does it sell foxes?
You cannot magically grow a beard by sleeping on a bench for a few minutes!
Now the pet shop owner just gave the monkey booze!
Cut to a random man in baggie pants selling ice cream to kids
What the hell is going on?
Cut to bears chained together to perform as sideshow acts
Good thing I’ve sped this up by .5 times the speed otherwise this would get really annoying really quick
Cut to a bunch of old men in their underwear climbing an anchor and diving off a pier into the river
Ok… Why has a secret meeting in the urinals?
Cut to a drunk accordion player acting like a pied piper
Nothing in this film makes any sense
Now they’re striking – Took them long enough
Question is… Why are they striking? This film hasn’t told me?
PART TWO – Oh so this part claims that they will tell me why their striking
How dare someone steal a thermometer! That’s 3 weeks wages you know!
So… Their striking because one worker got accused, wrongly, of stealing… OK then
Oh… That man has now hung himself rather than admitting that he’s not guilty of stealing!
Now everyone’s kicking the crap out of the foreman
Wait… Why is there an old lady in the factory?
SOD THIS I’M DONE!! FAR TOO CONFUSING TO FIGURE OUT