WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh to introduce Tsar to Lenin at Toronto’s York University

20 March 2013

World Socialist Web Site Arts Editor David Walsh will introduce a special screening of Tsar to Lenin at York University in Toronto on Thursday, March 28.

First released in 1937, Tsar to Lenin ranks among the greatest documentary films of the twentieth century. Based on archival footage assembled over more than a decade by the filmmaker Herman Axelbank and narrated by the US radical Max Eastman, it presents an extraordinary cinematic account of the Russian Revolution—from the mass uprising which overthrew the centuries-old tsarist regime in February 1917, to the Bolshevik-led insurrection eight months later that established the first socialist workers’ state, and the final victory in 1921 of the new Soviet regime over counter-revolutionary forces after a three-year-long civil war.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 ranks among the seminal events of the twentieth century. The victory of the Bolshevik Party and the establishment of the Soviet Union not only abolished capitalism in the largest country on earth. The example of a victorious socialist revolution politically radicalized the working class throughout the world, inspiring the masses with the possibility of an alternative to capitalism and imperialism.

In the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991—the final betrayal of the Stalinist bureaucracy that usurped power from the working class under conditions of the revolution’s isolation—the propagandists of the ruling class declared that “socialism was dead” and that the lack of any alternative to capitalism represented the “End of History.” However today, under conditions where capitalism confronts its greatest crisis since the 1930s, the events of 1917 assume immense contemporary significance. Tsar to Lenin provides an unparalleled film record of a revolutionary movement, embracing millions, which “shook the world” and changed the course of history.

Walsh will introduce the film and, following the screening, participate in a question and answer session.

York students, instructors, and all others in the Toronto area are most welcome.

Thursday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m.

York University, Keele (or main) Campus

Ross Building North, Room 120 If coming by bus, get off at the York University Tower stop. The university has paid parking, some distance from the main cluster of buildings where the Ross Building is located.

Please consult the Google Map: http://goo.gl/ABGeK

The Ross Building is slightly to the west (left) of the Harry W. Arthurs Common.

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