November 25, 2014, 4:00 p.m. — Twenty-Six Commissars (1932), Journey of Akaki Tsereteli to Racha and Lechkhumi (1912), Work at Oil Derricks and Oil Extraction (1907)
1932. USSR. Directed by Nikoloz Shengelaia. With K. Gasanov, Baba-Zade, Heiri Emirzade. Set against a backdrop of oil derricks and sand dunes, this impressive silent-era feature about the geopolitical struggle for the control of oil fields is still relevant today. “Shengelaia went to the film factory of Azerbaijan, Azerkino, to direct Twenty-Six Commissars...about the 1918 defeat of pro-Soviet forces in Baku, an event that had opened the doors for British and Turkish occupants.... The picture’s stylish pathos and ritualism preceded the monumentalism of the late 1930s–1940s and secured it a place in the annals of Soviet cinema” (Peter Rollberg, Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Cinema). Silent, with Russian, Georgian, and English intertitles and piano accompaniment. 76 min.