Understanding Historical Themes: Linking Past and Present - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  967 Words
Date:  2023-03-20


Historical themes create patterns that facilitate the understanding and expressing of historical events. Thus, authors and filmmakers use historical issues to analyze the past and linking it with the present to help the readers and viewers to understand the context of their work clearly. More so, historical events entail the geographical themes featured in the films and novels, which enables viewers and readers to think and compare the past with the present. This article involves an argumentative comparison of historical themes used in Ivan's Childhood and Battleship Potemkin films.

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Ivan's Childhood film narrates the life history of a 12-year-old boy known as Ivan Bondarev. When the movie starts, Ivan runs to his mother and tells her that he saw a cuckoo in the tree. The boy suddenly wakes up and reveals that he was only dreaming, whereby he spends the night at a windmill in the middle of a field. Ivans leaves the mill as the sun sets where he passes barbed wire and tries to cross the river where he is got by a Russian officer and taken to Lieutenant Galtsev (Tarkovsky). Thus, the films display the history of the war between Russians and Germans. The parents of Ivan got killed by the German soldier who invaded their home, killing Russian people. Battleship Potemkin's movie entails the regime of vessel sailors who were returning to the country after winning the Russo-Japanese war (Eisenstein). Thus, comparing the two films reveals the theme of the revolution of Russia. More so, the movie show war and destruction between Russia and other neighboring countries like Germany and Japan.

More so, the theme of abusive power is evident in the two films. Battleship Potemkin's movie expresses how commanding officers mistreated the sailors. Also, the film shows how the sailors got served to eat rotten meat, which influenced them to go on strike and take control of the ship (Eisenstein). Ivan's Childhood movie explains how the Russian government was unstable, which led to the invasion of German soldiers (Tarkovsky). The Germans soldiers brutally murder villagers, including the parents of Ivan, without any confrontation from the Russian government.

Furthermore, Battleship Potemkin elaborates on the repetition of history as the film involves the Russian Revolution. Also, the movies show how Tsarism has oppressed the Russian people before the revolution. The people received a low salary, which could not sustain the day to day life; they got denied the right to vote due to their ethnicity backgrounds. Hence, the repetitive occurrence of these events led to a successful revolution in 1917. More so, the strike of sailors in the ship symbolizes the fight against oppression the people faced each day in Russia. However, Ivan's Childhood shows repetition of battle the Russian soldiers engaged in fighting for freedom with German soldiers, whereby Ivan would lead at the front line to proving he was not afraid of the war.

Moreover, the two movies show the collective action of members. In Battleship Potemkin, most critical events people worked as a group to achieve their objective through coordinated decision making. For instance, before the sailors initiating the mutiny, they had a productive conversation among themselves. Also, the people of Odessa held a debate meeting to discuss whether to involve themselves in the revolution (Eisenstein). In Ivan's Childhood films, Ivan, captain Kholin and other Russian soldiers work together to fight the German soldiers where their effective collaboration helps them to coordinate the battle. For instance, when the German surrounds corporal Katasonov, Ivan is used to helping him due to size and can easily swim and getaway across the river. Therefore, the two movies try to enhance cooperation and teamwork as a noble attribute to bring peace in Russian people.

More so, Ivan's childhood movie elaborates on the historical truth influenced by war destruction. Also, the film expresses how death alters the life of an innocent child. At the beginning of the film shows how Ivan's life was honest and straightforward from the scene with his mother in the dream. Hence, after the death of his parents, Ivan expresses the greed to revenge his parent's death by joining the Russian soldiers to fight the Germans soldiers. Also, Ivan is shown at the front line facing the Germans soldiers without any fear of fulfilling his mission of revenging his parents. Besides, Battleship Potemkin shows the historical revolution of innocent sailors due to the oppression they faced from their leaders (Eisenstein). More so, mistreatment from the commanding officers, the sailors collaborate and go on a strike to break free from captivity.

Furthermore, Ivan's Childhood film expresses the socio-cultural and political events on various occasions. The invasion of German soldiers facilitated the social interaction of the people of different cultural backgrounds. Also, the political system of Russian people is evident, whereby a soldier captures Ivan as he tries to cross the river. He is taken to senior Lieutenant Galtsev, who eventually informs the headquarter about Ivan. Thus, expressing the different levels of leadership in Russian politics. While as Battleship Potemkin shows the political leadership which oppressed the minority groups, which served them and enabled the win against the Japanese (Eisenstein). Also, the movie expresses the social involvement of people as a group in making a joint decision concerning the people. For instance, to participate in the revolution.


In conclusion, the two movies convey the historical events of the Russians. Moreover, the film got filmed during the war period of Russians and other nations. Thus, the filmmakers express how Russians overcame the challenges their faces from enemies by collaborating as a nation an overthrowing their oppressors. Therefore, viewers should relate the two videos to understand the historical events and themes used by the filmmakers.

Work Cited

Eisenstein, Sergei. "Kanopy." Kanopy, 1925, nyu.kanopy.com/video/battleship-potemkin.

Tarkovsky, Andrei. "Kanopy." Kanopy, 1962, nyu.kanopy.com/video/ivans-childhood.

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Understanding Historical Themes: Linking Past and Present - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 20). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/understanding-historical-themes-linking-past-and-present-essay-sample

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