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The Crimson Moviegoer

"Chapayev" Outstanding Russian Film, To Be Shown in Winthrop Common Room Tonight At Eight


As its first presentation of year, Harvard's three-year-old Slavic Circle will put up its projector in the Winthrop House Junior Common Room tonight for a single showing of what many critics have called the greatest motion picture over filmed in Russia.

"Chapayev," which was screened in 1934, is the powerful story of a Red commander during the Revolution, written by the widow of the political commissar who accompanied him into battle. To those who do not understand the Russian language, the film offers English sub-titles in addition to fine choral music and the direction and acting of Russia's finest artists.

Vasili Chapayev was a carpenter when the Bolsheviks rose up in 1917. When the White General Kolchak was making his last stand in 1919, Chapayev was the foremost guerilla chieftain in all the Russias. His services were obtained by the Red army and the commisar Furmanov sent to accompany him.

The mental struggle that went on within the independent Chapayev before he accepted the civilian, as an equal has been strongly painted by Mme. Furmanov and is acted with a power only excelled by the climax, in which a white regiment sacrifices itself in an attempt to break the morale of the Reds. For the first time in Soviet photoplay, justice has been done to their stalwart opponents, and the scene of the psychological charge, with White troops marching stoically, awesomely to their death, is typical of the Russian mind and its grim realism.

Boris Babochkin, who plays the title role, is one of the Russia's outstanding actors and holds the title, "Peoples Artist of the Republic." Especial credit goes to the two brothers who directed the film, Sergei and Georgi Vasilyev.

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