Eisenstein’s short article addresses the issue of subject matter in the movie Alexander Nevsky. As the title suggests, Eisenstein vehemently argues that throughout the entire production of the movie, the slogan “patriotism” was “constantly before me and before our entire group, during the shots, during the sound recordings and during the cutting” (398). He also asserts that Communism, or the Communist Party is the guardian of national identity, national independence and true patriotism throughout the world. He links the Teutonic and Livonian knights that invaded Russia in the 13th century to contemporary fascists in the Germany and draws metaphors between the specific historic epoch depicted in Alexander Nevsky and the perils of Hitler’s rising aggression in the late 1930s, only to triumphantly affirm that Communism will prevail against all enemies, since the struggle for the ideal of fairness, freedom and national rights derives its moral from the Soviet Union.
Evaluation & Analysis:
From an artistic perspective, this article is totally irrelevant because it doesn’t elaborate on any cinematic theories nor does it scrutinize film’s form or content, and even if it does interpret its content in some fashion, it is obvious from the beginning that we are dealing with the communist propaganda of Socialist Realism, which automatically renders any artistic reading of this article invalid. Nor does the document offer any details on the collaboration activities between Eisenstein and Prokofiev. However, this article is a showcase of the Communist Party’s absolute control over the realm of art and from a historical perspective, it is serves as a practical demonstration how the Party extolled the doctrine of Socialist Realism as the prescribed art form for Soviet writers, artists and film-makers, starting in the early 1930s. Despite the fact that Eisenstein used his first sound film to illustrate his theories on the use of sound and the cooperation with Prokofiev led to production of a magnificent score, by publishing a political propaganda article of this kind, Eisenstein himself undermines the aesthetic value of his own film. Since the Socialist Realism was the only accepted form of art in the Soviet Union, this article also rises an important question – does Prokofiev’s and (especially) Eisenstein’s political subservience to Stalin deny these artists their positions as one of the great artists of the 20th century? And how does the doctrinaire nature of Alexander Nevsky affect the artistic values of the film and its musical score?