“Medvedkin was head of the Russian propaganda train that travelled around the Soviet Union making Social realist documentaries, as the narrator ironically comments; “films made at the top to instruct the grass roots, footage gathered at the grass roots, to be edited at the top.” (from: http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~tstronds/nostalghia)
The Agit Trains were highly decorated railway carriages/goods wagons, each carriage a different form of agitprop (agitation+propaganda) – a theatre wagon, a cinema wagon, film-studio and film-processing, etc. There’s a wonderful recreation of an Agit-Train in Warren Beatty’s feature Reds (1981), which maps the life and work of the American communist and journalist John Reed.
Medvedkin and Dziga Vertov were two of the film-makers actively involved in the Bolshevik AGITPROP trains during the Russian Civil War. These trains toured the Russian countryside distributing leaflets, staging plays, showing films, illustrating the benefits of the Revolution for an illiterate peasantry. The AGITPROP trains are wonderful examples of how multimedia – and film and electronic media, were creatively developed as ‘education, agitation and propaganda’ media.
“…one of the primary aims of the agitprop trains was health education. Vertov and Medvedkin filmed people during the day, edited all night, then played the film back to their audience/participators next day. When they played another village the film, they found that these agitprop media had the power to unify…”(Henny 1983) at: http://books.google.com/books?id=6Ldyu8v6c-IC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=medvedkin+agitprop&source=web&ots=d7iTgDScya&sig=crecn8NkdbvdJDJfoRe-g07CgWM#PPA85,M1
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