St. Petersburg, 1917. The WWI front is moving closer every day; the people are hungry, afraid, angry. In February, the tsar is ousted. Many artists feel euphoric, too: Revolution! Freedom! Peace at last? In October, the Bolsheviki seize power. How did poets, intellectuals, and avant-gardists like Zinaida Hippius, Maxim Gorki or Kasimir Malevich experience these times of turmoil? Here, five of them step out of the pages of the director’s books as animated cut-out figures and comment on events in their own words as they move through salons, committees and street fights: moments when it is not yet clear which way things will turn.
In her documentary, two-times Grimme Award winner Katrin Rothe takes a fresh new look at the historical events and retells the Russian revolution from the perspective of artists. Based on previously unknown sources as well as diaries, reports and works of literature, she undertakes a multilayered exploration of what is widely known as the ‘October Revolution’ and unearths thoughts, observations and ‘truths’ in artistic documents of the time. A chronological timeline of historical facts emerges, ultimately enveloped by a web of ‘red threads’: With its re-constructive look at the past, the film’s approach remains as multifaceted as life itself.