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Rosa-Luxemburg Platz

A film from yesterday and an audience from today

By: 
Victor Grossman

With its theme a little-known event of over a century ago, the film was ancient in cinema terms, its rather unsuccessful premiere was way back in 1926 and the performance Monday evening marked an event even earlier than that, one which is rarely discussed and even less celebrated. Yet the theatre was sold out and the final ovation lasted many, many minutes, with some loudly cheering and many standing.

The film was Potemkin, its showing was almost exactly 100 years after the Russian Revolution in October or November 1917 (the month depending on which calendar is used). The place was the Babylon in downtown Berlin, near its eastern center, Alexanderplatz.

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