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Money Can’t Buy Happiness


January 24, 2022 by hollingsworthk

This shot, showing the shareholders of a factory whose workers are on strike, tells us

everything that we need to know about their characters. Right before this still plays, the movie shows its audience large groups of families and friends meeting together. The contrast that is created between those scenes and this one informs us that, if these men even have friends and a family, they certainly do not care about them. They sit alone in a vast and lavish room. Eisenstein uses the contrast to tell us that despite their great wealth, the shareholders have nothing of meaning in their lives. The high camera angle makes them look small and powerless and emphasizes the power that the workers have seized. Eisenstein is trying to visually tell the audience that the many workers, when united, are far, far greater than the wealthy few.

This shot is a perfect view into how workers in this movement felt about their corporate overlords. They are the picture of excess and are void of compassion. The ominous shadows play into the evil of the characters and the lavish décor exemplifies their greed. So much of the movie’s themes have been applied to this one still, and it is one of my favorite moments from the film. After seeing the workers unite for a strike, this shot is a fantastic way to show the shareholders on the ropes while also gaining an insight into their characters.


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