Despite strong objections against showing scenes of violence on cinema screens, some filmic productions mentioned or even included episodes of pogroms perpetrated during the Tsarist era or the Russian Civil War. Produced between 1913 and 1929, these movies tried to denounce or prevent such violence. Few have been preserved until today, and the ones still surviving are little known. Some were produced under prohibition prior to the Revolutions of 1917. Others appeared during campaigns against antisemitism (close to 1919 and in the late 1920s) and constitute the main focus of this article. Archival evidence allows a detailed study of the reactions of the censors – divergent between Ukraine and Russia – and the critical acclaim which the movies received.

issue 15 / August 2019 by Valerie Pozner