January 24, 2022 by antoonav
This still depicts the establishing shot of Strike! In which a worker named Yakov has just been accused by the bosses of stealing a micrometer. A micrometer is worth 25 rubles— the equivalent of three weeks worth of the worker’s pay. Yakov becomes overwhelmed by the guilt of being called a thief.
In this long shot Yakov is in the foreground of the frame, visibly distressed with his head held low. The countertop creates a leading line which brings the viewers eye to the boss in the background. The use of lighting and clothing hints at the divide between the workers and bosses, with the boss in direct lighting and wearing a suit jacket with a light shirt, standing out from the rest of the room. He appears to have a smirk on his face, mocking Yakov.The worker, however, is somewhat hidden by the shadows, casting him in shades of grey representing the collectivism of the workers. This shot is interesting because it ultimately is the moment that causes the resistance.
Yakov’s anger with the establishment foreshadows the anger of all of the workers. He becomes so infuriated in this moment that it jump cuts to Yakov going back into the factory and hanging himself. The bosses are dismissive of Yakov’s suicide. They remove his body and tell the other workers to continue their work. Yakov’s resistance to his personal suffering in being accused of being a thief shows a personal insight to the suffering of the workers and abuse of power from the boss. In choosing to resist the bosses and go on strike, the workers ultimately risk their lives. Yakov’s suicide foreshadows the mass slaughtering of the protesting workers at the end of the film.