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Istituto per i Beni Culturali Emilia-Romagna

Memoria e Ricerca

Two cinematographic interpretations about Decembrist revolts: historical reconstruction and fabrication in Dekabristy and S.V.D.

di Dunja Dogo
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 42 (2013), p. 127

From mid 1920s on, in Soviet Russia the 1825 Decembrist revolts were considered not only as an historical inheritance whether be hoarded (from the Bolshevik Party point of view) but also an object of study for the purpose of telling a story of different voices. Also the Soviet cinematography of the period paid a particular attention to these historical events. In my paper, I address the case-study regarding the narratives of two mainstream Soviet long feature-films–appeared in 1927 and whose subjects concerned the 1825 Decembrist revolutionists. One is Dekabristy (A. Ivanovskij, 1927), a historical reconstruction of the 1825 armed uprising. The other is S.V.D. (The Union of the Great Cause, I. Kozincev and L. Trauberg), a melodrama on the background of history. Apparently both in these works, the Decembrist deeds were shaped for moulding a politically-oriented memory of a history yet to be fully written. Given this consideration, one key-question shall be guiding my analysis: how were the stories of the revolutionary past reorganised and reinterpreted in these two specific films? Key words: Russian cultural history, history of Soviet cinema, adaptation studies, film and history, history of Russian revolutionary movement, memory studies