Feature Drama | 1910 | Silent | B/W
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A brick building is hung with flags. Outside, men gather, holding banners and shouting up. From a balcony, a uniformed man wearing glasses shouts down to the gathered crowd from in amongst a sea of flags. "The workers from across the river halt outside the Bolshevik H.Q." Sailors march forwards to listen to the man, they take off their hats, waving them in agreement. The man from the balcony shouts out in a frenzy "A rising would be premature." He tears off his hat, gesturing down "A premature rising is doomed." The sailors in hats bearing the name of their ship talk together, watching the man. "This demonstration must be a peaceful demonstration." The sailors raise their arms, shouting. "Kronstadt lads" The sailors take their rifles from their shoulders and unscrew the barrel, fastening it downwards against the butt of the gun. They shoulder the rifles, pointing them towards the groung. The mens legs, uniform, with the points of their rifles by their ankles. "Not until the time is ripe will we give the call to arms." The sailors cheer, squinting against the sun. The man speaking on the balcony is slowly engulfed by the flags held all around him, covered in slogans in Russian. The banners move forwards in line, one by one displaying their messages. A procession marches by. Above, an a ledge onlookers holding banners cheer and wave. From above, a large square is filled with hundreds of people. Through the middle of the crowd snakes the procession. From in front, men march. "At the corner of the Sadovaya and the Nevski" Two separate processions jion into one at the junction of two streets. "There, where - the war-mongers press - 'Vechernaya' and 'Novaya' The men march forwards holding up their banners. A shop front painted with Russian words. The barrel of a cannon, a soldier stands looking on impassively. Seen from behind a dark statue, thousands of men fill the avenue, they march forwards. From above, the square and procession advancing. The cannon. The shopfront. The cannon. Quicck flashes of the end of the cannon from different angles. The procession suddenly scatters, people run in panic. From above, the man separate out in every direction.
On the street junction, men run in random patterns. Quick flashes of - the soldiers face squinting as he aims the cannon, the cannon silhouetted against the sky, the cannon firing. Smoke rises and the people in the square slowly thin out, some are left crawling on the ground. Quick flashes of the soldiers face, his teeth bared and the cannon firing. Men climb up a stone structure by the waterside, they drag their folded banners behind them. Men carrying flags bound up a set of stone steps. "Saving the banners" A man in a flat cap stands looking around, his banner is rolled up under his arm. He runs down some steps. On the left of the picture there rests an embroidered parasol. The man comes to a halt next to it and looks around slowly. Underneath, a uniformed soldier lies with a girl, they smile at one another. The parasol rolls away and the soldier shouts at the man "Bolshevik" He jumps up after him, pushing the girl out of the way, she is left adjusting her hat. He catches the man by the scruff of the neck and bends him backwards over the stone wall. A woman trailing a parasol runs up with a cry. Others run behind, jumping over discarded banners. The woman bares her teeth and, as the soldier holds him down, beats the man with the point of her parasol. The soldiers girlfriend looks on, bored. A woman in a broad hat tries franaticly to tear down a banner. Another well-dressed woman, wearing a hat made from feathers lunges with her parasol, a flag flies behind her.
The woman uses her teeth to rip the banner. The soldiers girlfriend twists her parasol idley and watches down as the man is beaten. The woman in the feathered hat cries out wildly, others come forwards and rip a flag which flutters behind them. As men flee, banners are flung down. The well-dressed women stab at the flag. View of elegant ladies shoes and ankles, one of which struggles to stamp on a flagpole. Quick flashes sof cannons firing. From in front, men run, a carriage pulled by a white horse advances. Suddenly, the horse stumbles and falls to the ground, skidding along the road. The soldier wrestles with the man, whose hand moves up and rips the soldiers cap off, rubbing it into his face. The girlfriend gets to her feet. Womens hands rip the shirt from the man. Womans feet stand on a ledge, stabbing down with their folded parasols. A woman, smiling, lunges for the mans bare chest, then looks up. A suited man in a bowler hat smiles and claps. The white horse liestwitching, a puddle of blood from its nose, the cart, hung with flags, stands upright behind it. A girls torso layed out on the pavement. She has long tangled hair spread out before her. She lies surrounded by flags and the feet of other lying men. A man sits at a desk, he lifts up a telephone reciever. "The Government orders -" The man listens "The raising of the bridges -" The man nods and replaces the reciever "To cut off the workers districts from the city." Light flickers through an intricate pattern of steel girders. The road bridge strewn with bodies. Suddenly the bridge splits in the middle.
The girls body lies one side, her hair spreads over the other. As one side of the bridge rises, her hair is pulled up. Another man beside her is left, his head and arms dangling over the edge. Behind the bodies, a group of men rush to jump onto the other side of the bridge. The girls body sinks, men run behind her. The last of her hair is pulled up and falls back on her face. The white horse lies one side of the join, the cart the other. It is left dangling in mid-air, held by its harnesses. The structure underneath the bridge, moving slowly. The bridge seperates slowly. The horse hangs from the side, swaying slightly as the bridge rises slowly, a peaceful looking town in the distance. From on top of the bridge, the cart stands, only the horses two back hooves visible. The cart, the landscape at an angle behind it, the reins are stretched taught. From below, the horse ahnging. The cart, the landscape behind it diagonal across the picture. The moving girders. From below on the bridge, the striped surface of the bridge is bare except for the balanced cart. An Egyptian style statue looks on. The bridge rises, something falls at great speed to the battom.
Overlooking the river, a statue stands to the right. The two halves of the bridge are almost upright. The cart still stands suspended by the hanging horse. The water flickers on the bridges metalwork. The beaten man lies, the river water lapping at his face. The women under their parasols jog along to look over a thin bridge into the water. A soldier and a nun rip up a pile of papers, scattering them into the water. "Drowning the Bolshevik 'Truth'" They smile as they fling the sheets into the river. The water, covered with the pieces of paper, moves slowly. The well-dressed women lean over the railings to watch. The water patterns on the bridge machinery. The suspended white horse. The cart, vertical, bodies strewn below, having slid down. A nun and a woman in a soldiers cap laugh as they throw the bundles of papers into the river. A group of woman under parasols smile. Abandoned banners flutter. The cart on the bridge. The banners are unfurled and flung into the water.
Suddenly, the white horse comes free of its harness and plumets down to the water below. It hits the water with a splash. The banner sinks in the river. The beaten mans head in the moving water. Ripped banners. The papers floating slowly. A woman looks on laughing. The banner is pulled under. The man in the bowler hat laughs. A leaflet sinks slowly.
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