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The Last Bolshevik ****½

by Allan Fish

(France 1992 120m) DVD1/2 (France only)

Aka. Le Tombeau d’Alexandre

I am a peasant by blood

p  Michael Kustow  d/w  Chris Marker  ph/ed  Chris Marker  m  Alfred Shnitke 

Certainly amongst the ten single most overlooked entries in this tome, Chris Marker’s truly transcendental film remains in relative obscurity today.  Pauline Kael called it “a great film that almost no-one has seen“, and I think that the irony would not be lost on Marker or, indeed, on his subject.  The Last Bolshevik is the analysis – story seems such a mundane, inappropriate word – of the life and career of Alexander Medvedkin by those who knew, loved and respected him.  Even now, it’s possible you may never have heard of him, and it’s perhaps only by the alphabetical structure of this book that a few of you who have heard of him have.  L comes after H, after all, and early amongst the Hs you will find an entry for Medvedkin’s accepted masterpiece, Happiness.  It’s also perhaps ironic that I first came to view the film, thanks to the US DVD release in 2008, when Marker himself was approaching the age when Medvedkin himself had died. (more…)

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