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Dzyga Vertov’s lost film will be shown for the first time at the festival in Amsterdam


Dzyga Vertov’s documentary “The History of the Civil War” (1921) will be shown for the first time this autumn.


The screening will take place at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), which will take place from 17 to 28 November.

Until recently, it was believed that only a 12-minute fragment of the film survived, but this excerpt was only part of the restoration of the film. The restored version lasts 94 minutes.

“The History of the Civil War” focuses on the years when the Bolsheviks struggled to defeat domestic opposition to the revolution. The film is praised for its unvarnished look at the death and destruction being waged, with Vertov filming fights in the streets, as well as military tribunals.

Nikolai Izvolov used historical records to reconstruct the original silent film from archive material and commissioned a new soundtrack said on the IDFA website.

“The History of the Civil War” Screenshot
“The History of the Civil War” Screenshot

“The History of the Civil War” has only been screened once before, in 1921. Nikolai Izvolov used historical records to reconstruct the original silent film from archive material and commissioned a new soundtrack.

Dzyga Vertov is a film director and screenwriter, one of the founders and theorists of documentary film. Him considered a prominent representative of the “Ukrainian Renaissance” in cinema, he was the first to use the technique of “hidden camera”. And the film “Man With a Movie Camera” (1929) is often called the greatest documentary in history.

“The History of the Civil War” Screenshot
“The History of the Civil War” Screenshot

While “Man With a Movie Camera” is available to screen everywhere, it is unclear how available “The History of the Civil War” will be available outside of this festival.