Battleship Potemkin

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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In the film Battle Potemkin, the groups of people that are placed into conflict are the everyday people of Russia against the Czar's rule, or more specific the sailors against the officers.

There are no main characters in the film. There is one character, Vakulinchuk, who appears to assume the role as protagonist, but we learn nothing about this character except for he stirs his shipmates up and starts the revolt. He is never fully developed just like the other characters . The film is depicted as one side verves the other. We are not given a choice as to which side to relate with. One of the first sequences is the sailors asleep and we see an officer abusing a new crew member, causing this grown man to cry. Obviously whenever a grown man is reduced to crying his situation cannot be a healthy one and the audience feel sympathy towards him and the other shipmates.

The two groups are in conflict because the people are being oppressed by the government. On the ship the officers do not look after the sailors' well being, which is shown in the maggots and the meat scene. Our sympathy lies with the people. In the Odessa step sequence the audience sees the pain and terror in the faces of the people, while at the same time we only see the backs and the guns of the soldiers.

There is also conflict within the shots themselves. The sequence when the Capitan is addressing the crew has many graphic contrasts. At a wide angle we see all the crew lining up on the deck. This shot has many lines in it. The lines of the crew and officers, the lines of the cannons and the lines of the bow of the ship. The...