Tsar to Lenin screenings at Toronto’s York and Kingston’s Queen’s University

The World Socialist Web Site encourages its readers to attend screenings of Tsar to Lenin at Toronto’s York University on Thursday, March 28 and at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario on Thursday, April 4. (For full details, scroll to the bottom.)

WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh will introduce the film at the Toronto showing and participate in a question and answer session afterwards.

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.


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.

Kingston, Ontario

Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m.
Queen’s University
Dunning Hall, Room 14
94 University Avenue
Dunning Hall is at the corner of University Avenue and Union Street.