Academic study of religions and film: Storm over Asia reinterpreted



Year of publication 2012
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The Soviet silent movie Storm over Asia (original title: Potomok Chingis-khana, dir. Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1928) is approached as a study material suitable for the visual study of religions. The creative intention of the director is always important for understanding a film. In this case, director’s intention is rather too straightforward: the criticism of Lamaism and support for building the new society to which religion represents an obstacle. Thus, a “religious problem” or a “problem of the religion” arises. We may ask several questions: a) To what extent are the fictitious and documentary aspects interwoven? Or, to what extent the film is a fiction and to what extent it is documentary? (The analysis of terms "fictitious" and "documentary" itself is useful and clarifying). A documentary movie made by a Soviet-German expedition, which is several years younger and which contained only documentary shots, shall be used for comparison. b) How and why did Buddhist monks (Lamas) take part in the project? c) What is the picture created by Pudovkin in the movie? And what is the correspondence of this picture with the picture formed by other media in the USSR at that time?

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