On the 18th of January 1926, nine years after the successful 1917 Russian revolution, Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin premiers at the First Sovkino Theatre, Moscow. Sanctioned by the Soviet central committee, it was originally planned to coincide with the 20th anniversary celebrations of the failed 1905 revolution. The film arrived during a period of incertitude for the Russian people. Communism was still in its infancy and the new Russia was not totally at ease with itself. Fully aware of this the government continually used propaganda, via a variety of art forms, to instil its political ethos into the Russian People.
In the absence of the types of mass media sources that dominate today's society, Cinema was one the few forms of media capable of reaching a high proportion of the populous. Yet its effectiveness as a medium was limited by both the attendance of its target audience and their ability to accurately relay the intended message to others. Therefore the power, resonance and the manner in which the information is delivered became paramount, especially if (as in the case of Potemkin) the film is to be judged as an effective instrument of propaganda.
Originally created with the intention of reaffirming nation-wide belief in Communism, Battleship Potemkin became a vessel in which Eisenstein succeeded in visualising many of his own theories of cinematic expression, in particular montage, a somewhat impromptu discovery by the American D.W. Grithith (Intolerance, The Birth of a nation). Explored in greater depth by Lev Kuleshov (The Extraordinary adventures of Mr West in the land of the Bolsheviks).1 However it was Eisenstein's pioneering theory of "the Montage of film attractions"2 that elevated this concept to a new level expanding it into his "Four Dimensions of cinema".3 As Eisenstein himself describes:.
"An attraction .