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The small number of Russian films which were shown in Britain in the late 1920s and early 1930s excited the attention of British filmmakers and writers, and played a central role in developing ideas about film as an art-form. In particular this influence was felt in the British documentary film work of such key figures as John Grierson and Paul Rotha.
This unique and fascinating release explores this influence through the formal and thematic relationships between Viktor Turin's extraordinary, yet little-seen, silent documentary Turksib (1929), and a number of British documentary films, including the celebrated Night Mail (1936).
Workers Topical News Parts 1 and 2 (1930, 10 mins): the newsreels shown at Turksib's first UK screening
Contact (Paul Rotha, 1933, 42 mins): luminary of the British documentary movement, Rotha used Soviet-style montage and intertitles to illustrate to conquest of the air by aeroplane
Shadow of the Mountain (Arthur Elton, 1931, 15 mins): the struggles of Welsh sheep farmers is explored in this poetic film
Night Mail (Harry Watt, Basil Wright, 1936): One of the most critically acclaimed and best loved films produced within the British documentary movement
Fully illustrated booklet