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Article

World War I and pre-Revolutionary Russian cinema

Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema. 2017. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 96-117.
Kovalova A.
Translator: Н. Рябчикова.

Pre-Revolutionary Russian cinema has traditionally been divided into two periods: pre-1914 and after. The first period has been perceived as one of inception and learning, while the second as an era of maturity and genuine establishment of early Russian cinema. World War I, which abruptly restricted the import of foreign films into Russia, has usually been treated as a positive factor in the history of Russian cinema and the most important reason for its blossoming in 1914–18. Yet it may also be argued that the war created turmoil in the Russian film industry. The new, forced production rates negatively impacted on the quality of films and did not help the natural development of a national cinema tradition. Masterpieces made during the war were evidently created not because of, but despite the war. The influence of World War I on Russian cinema thus must be considered sharply negative.