Arsenal is a soviet silent film that describes the destructive forces of war through a strong sense of symbolism. We are shown a series of vignettes that sheds light on the January Rebellion in Kyiv in 1918.
Arsenal is a film about war and conflict. It begins in the aftermath of the First World War, and we see war invalids, exhausted women, and hungry children in a depopulated village. People walk and stand like living shadows in the impoverished village. Farmers die trying to make a living on the barren land. Then we follow a strike where the hero of the film, a soldier who has recently returned from the war, supports the Bolsheviks against the Ukrainian Parliament. The film contains several iconic war scenes and shows a raw depiction of war.
The style is clearly propagandistic, but the brutality we see shows the destructive power of war. The stylized images, almost still images, are symbolic. This is a propaganda film that moves beyond its limits. We meet talking horses and portraits that come to life to blow out burning candles. Nor are we spared images of the war's cruel consequences. The film also contains a number of Ukrainian symbols in its portrayal of the bolshevik-backed uprising against the Central Council of Ukraine (Centralna Rada), which feels relevant even today in connection with the war between Russia and Ukraine. This makes this a very complicated, but also interesting film to show to highlight the tensions that have existed between Ukraine and the Kremlin for a long time.
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
To reinforce the raw war scenes, the conflicts, and the human suffering in the film, TIFF would like to present hard rock to the film, played by the Norwegian doomsday orchestra ATTAN. In the autumn of 2018, they released their debut album "End of" to unison praise from reviewers at home and abroad. ATTAN has toured in both Europe and Japan, played the Malakoff, Øya, and Bukta festivals in Norway, and they have played concerts with Cult Of Luna, Dead Cross, and Hexis.
Live, ATTAN is a spectacular chaos like no other. Both visually and sonically, the band leaves as little room as possible to catch its breath. When the band describes itself as "the sound of a people sucking the marrow out of their own bones", you know this is going to be hard.
ATTAN consists of:
Remi Semshaug Langseth – vocals
Aleksander Ralla Vilnes – drums
Fritz Ragnvald Rimala Pettersen – bass
Bjørn Are Johansen – guitar
Mathis Ståle Mathisen – guitar
Guest musicians are Nikolai Olshansky and Tomas Järmyr:
Nikolai Olshansky is one of the brightest representatives of the new generation of Russian jazz musicians from Severomorsk in the Murmansk region. As a highly professional musician (double bass, bass guitar) and composer with extensive experience performing in multiple ensembles, Nikolai shared a stage with a lot of high-profile musicians around the world experimenting with various styles of music.
Tomas Järmyr is a drummer and was a member of the rock band Motorpsycho 2017-2023.
Oleksandr Dovzhenko (1894-1956) was a Ukrainian Soviet screenwriter, film producer and director. He was one of the most important early Soviet filmmakers, alongside Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, and a pioneer of Soviet montage theory.
1951 Farewell, America