Storm Over Asia

1407. STORM OVER ASIA (1928-USSR). Directed by V.I. PUDOVKIN. Here is Pudovkin’s epic motion picture about one man’s political and social enlightenment during a time Of violence and turÂmoil in his land. The year is 1920, the setting Soviet Central Asia (where Pudovkin shot the film on location): a vast, undeveloped wilderness Of mountains and plains. After an argument with a connivÂing American fur trader-who’s a predictably outlandish caricature Of a greedy, heartless capitalist-a young, obscure Mongolian trapper is forced to flee his home. He joins Soviet partisans fighting for their liberation, and is eventually captured and ordered shot by interventionist forces. However, a general uncovers an amulet from among the trapper’s possessions-the contents Of which alters his fate, for it identifies him as a direct descendant Of Genghis Khan. Because the name Of Khan is still powerful among the Mongols, the trapper is set up as a puppet ruler Of his country. How he ultimateÂly responds to those who will manipulate him is conveyed by Pudovkin in a magnificently staged and photographed finale. This trapper is a typical Pudovkin hero: he’s an individual, an idealized personÂality, who in his everyday struggle for survival symbolized the oppression Of the masses. Storm Over Asia (which is also, appropriately, known as “The Heir to Genghis Khan”) is almost documentary like in feel, with Pudovkin weaving a spellbinding drama in which characterization and narrative are expertly utilized to both unravel the story and bring home the revolutionary message. Pudovkin is also one Of the cinema’s key theorists with regard to the effective utilization Of film editing, One can understand why, after observing how artfully he connects his various pieces Of film-Often in a dazÂzling, rapid-fire manner-to obtain a cohesive, stunningly visual finished product. With Storm Over Asia, Pudovkin came to rank with Eisenstein and Dovzhenko at the top echelon Of Soviet filmmakers. Titles in English. “Silent” film with original organ score, correct projection speed. 149 minutes. ÒSilentÓ Historical Drama