The Last Bolshevik
Directed by Chris Marker • Documentary • 1998 • 116 minutes
Based on the life and work of the Russian film director Alexander Medvedkin (1900-1989), THE LAST BOLSHEVIK is a tribute from one filmmaker to another. An archeological expedition into film history that reveals new cinematic treasures, the film prompts a reflection on the relation between art and politics in the former Soviet Union.
The film captures the commitment, energy, struggles, illusions and disillusions of a believing but never naïve Bolshevik. From Medvedkin's classic 1934 satire Happiness, and the 'film train' which he directed in the 1930s, to his sardonic comedies and bitter war newsreels, Chris Marker draws a panorama of the artistic, political, and moral universe of a life and a country, bringing it right up to date with his own vision of Russia today.
An intricate work with many levels and layers, The Last Bolshevik is also a distillation of the art and beliefs of one of the greatest documentarians of our time, Chris Marker, who has revolutionized documentary as his near-contemporary Jean-Luc Godard transformed film fiction, crossing boundaries and mixing genres.
"This is one of the most important, illuminating and thoroughly enjoyable DVD releases of the year."-Michael Wilmington, TheDailyPage.com