Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbas

Ентузіязм: Симфонія Донбасу
Director: Dziga Vertov

Soviet Union, 1930, documentary, 67 min., russian with english and lithuanian subtitles

Vertov’s first sound film, a masterpiece of Soviet avant-garde cinema, is a paean to coal and steel workers and the supremacy of Soviet industrial production. Vertov’s rousing “symphony” of man and machine, made in celebration of the Five Year Plan of the late 1920s, has inspired countless filmmakers throughout the century, from Charlie Chaplin and Joris Ivens to Richard Serra, Harun Farocki, Wang Bing, and Lucy Raven—filmmakers who have sought to recapture the film’s dynamic rhythms even as they critique or parody its heroic idealism. 

About director:

Dziga Vertov was a director, screenwriter, and theoretician of documentary film. He came to Soviet documentary film in 1918, inspired by the ideas of the revolution, and became known as a vivid innovator and experimenter. Vertov’s films One Sixth of the WorldEnthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass, Three Songs about Lenin, and especially Man with a Movie Camera  remain models for generations of documentary filmmakers.

Section: Ukrainian Film Focus

Dir. of Photography: Boris Zeitlin