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Towering over the Working Class


January 19, 2022 by Jack Wedge

In looking at this still from Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike, viewers witness a policeman on his horse as he and some fellow officers have been sent to disrupt the strike that the workers had been putting on. This medium shot comes shortly after the shareholders looking over the demands of their employees to which they scoffed and mocked their requests for a better work environment. What this still and this scene in which these middle and lower class individuals are chased away shows is the way in which those with money are the ones in power. The policeman towers over all the smaller working class figures fleeing from him in the background of this shot, signifying the way in which money controls so many various aspects of society regardless of whether or not a system is meant to operate in such a manner. This shot epitomizes the whole scene in that it shows the way in which the working class is oppressed and even when they attempt to stand up for a more fair system, those with wealth attempt to use their power to beat them down into submission. In that facet, this scene is also indicative of what is the biggest and most obvious sentiment that Eisenstein seemed to hold in making this film, and that is the belief that capitalism is a very flawed economic system that results in a small few fat cats at the top, while many performing labor are mistreated and under appreciated and have few vehicles that can successfully combat the way in which the upper class can often try to take advantage of those less fortunate than them.


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