Storm Over Asia
The last of the three great films that V.I. Pudovkin directed in the 1920s, Storm over Asia (1928) is an acknowledged classic of Soviet silent cinema. Filmed largely on location in Mongolia, the film has an authentic documentary feel, though the story is a stirring melodrama. It concerns a young fur trapper (Valeri Inkizhinov) who, after being captured and sentenced to death by British occupying forces, is mistaken as a descendant of the great warrior Genghis Khan. He then becomes a puppet ruler for the British in their war against the Soviet partisans. Once he attains his status, however, he must decide where his loyalties lay.
Pudovkin enjoys caricaturing the foreign (British) troops and the medieval rituals of a Buddhist temple, but it's out on the Siberian steppes that he really comes into his own, with panoramic shots of the vast landscapes. Together with Mother (1926) and The End of St. Petersburg (1927), Storm over Asia (also known as The Heir to Genghis Khan) entitles Pudovkin to be ranked with Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov as a master of the Soviet montage style, which he expounded in his book Film Technique (1929).
This edition has been transferred from 35mm preservation elements, and represents a more complete version of the film than has been previously released. A stirring score by Timothy Brock, as performed by the Olympia Chamber Orchestra, accompanies the film.
Produced for DVD by David Shepard