Battleship Potemkin

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Political propaganda is never a simply stated commercial applied to politics. It is instead an organized explanation that is extremely necessary to win the support of a specific group of people that associate themselves with the ideas being expressed. Propaganda is useful in drawing out emotions that people try to hide, but more importantly it can be hidden in many forms. Propaganda is especially powerful when utilized in film, because the visual image helps to shape the viewers' mind.

The film Battleship Potemkin uses a rapid succession of images in the form of montage to successfully convey a connection between political motive and aesthetic images. Within the film lie several political motives, all of which must be conveyed to the audience by combining several dramatic camera shots due to the fact the film has no formal dialogue between the actors. This montage is specifically crafted to draw the viewer into the film and leave them with heightened emotions about the political agenda being presented.

Eisenstein advocated the Soviet theories of film montage, which claimed that film has its greatest impact when camera shots were combined to form a choppy yet meaningful collage. Whereas early film was a single continuos shot, montage seemed to have a greater, more dramatic effect on the audience. In the film Battleship Potemkin, the viewers' first introductions to some of the films' characters are as they are sleeping. The camera closes in on the faces of almost every sailor in the ship as they are in their most innocent state. This use of the camera forces the viewer to sympathize with the sailors and form an angry association with the ships general who torments them as they sleep.

Eisenstein used montage as a thought process, which raised conflicts that needed to be resolved. The first conflict...