The New Babylon

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The New Babylon
Directed by Grigori Kozintsev
Leonid Trauberg
Written by Grigori Kozintsev
Leonid Trauberg
P. Bliakin (idea)
Starring Yelena Kuzmina
Pyotr Sobolevsky
Sergei Gerasimov
Vsevolod Pudovkin
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich
Cinematography Andrei Moskvin
Yevgeny Mikhailov
Release dates
  • 18 March 1929 (1929-03-18)
Running time
German export edit: 125 minutes[1] (ca. 2,900 m)
Gosfilmofond version: 93 min.[1] (ca. 2,170 m)
European export edit: 84 min.[1] (ca. 1,900 m)[2]
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

The New Babylon (Russian: Новый Вавилон; translit. Novyy Vavilon; alt. title: Штурм неба; translit. Shturm neba) is a 1929 silent film written and directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg. The film deals with the 1871 Paris Commune and the events leading to it, and follows the encounter and tragic fate of two lovers separated by the barricades of the Commune.

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his first film score for this movie. In the fifth reel of the score he quotes the revolutionary anthem, "La Marseillaise" (representing the Commune), juxtaposed contrapuntally with the famous "Can-can" from Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld.[3]

Footage from The New Babylon was included in Guy Debord's feature film The Society of the Spectacle (1973).

Kozintsev and Trauberg found some of their inspiration in Karl Marx's The Civil War in France and The Class Struggle in France, 1848-50.[4]


  1. ^ a b c At 20 frames per second.
  2. ^ "Im Räderwerk der Filmzensur" (in German). arte. 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  3. ^ Described and played on BBC Radio 3's CD Review program (14 January 2012)
  4. ^ Fitzgerald, Mark (1990) New Babylon: Royal Northern College of Music, 30th June 1990 8.00 pm: programme notes, p. 7


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