Over the centuries art and politics have often been inextricably linked. No more so than in times of political upheaval, social strife and nationalistic tensions. Art can be used as a form of protest, especially when free speech is severely restricted or non-existent. The 1917 Revolution was possibly the most important moment in Russian history. The end of the Tsarist system sparked an explosion of creativity, leading to the most fertile period of the Russian Avant-Garde movement.
Margy Kinmonth’s documentary Revolution: New Art for a New World charts the rise of artists such as Kandinsky, Malevich and Chagall. Their work mirrors the uncertainty of the rapidly changing world around them. It was one of the most productive eras in Russian art until an increasingly rigorous crackdown by Stalin put an end to this fruitful period 15 years later. Many ending up dead or in the Gulags.
Told through a mix of interviews (with relatives and experts) and dramatisations, Revolution: New Art for a New World is an intriguing insight into one of the most vital periods of Russian art. Whilst the history itself is fascinating, the theatrics do little to add to the story. Revolution: New Art for a New World demonstrates how one man’s ambition can destroy the most creative periods. It’s a compelling commentary into a movement which influenced art around the world.
REVOLUTION: NEW ART FOR A NEW WORLD will be released on DVD 3rd April http://revolution.film/