Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass

1930s Silent film Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass will be accompanied by a brand new live score from local sound wizards!

We bring you the very best of film through Left Bank Cinema, a monthly programme of eclectic and thought provoking film. And boy oh boy, do we have a treat for you in July! In association with the fab folks at Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, a month long celebration of silent film at venues across Yorkshire, we are exceptionally proud to present a very unique screening of Dziga Vertov’s seminal 1930s documentary Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass complete with a brand new live score from local sound wizards That Fucking Tank.


This beautiful, yet blisteringly bleak and disorientating, work documents the effects of rapid industrialisation on the Donbass area of Eastern Ukraine against the backdrop of Stalin’s First Five Year Plan. An anthem to glorified industrialisation and collectivisation; patriotism and propaganda, Vertov presents the heroic narrative of the Soviet proletariat which sees workers pitted against each other to compete for ‘glorious productivity’!

The documentary is notable as Vertov’s first to use sound, with real industrial sounds and marching band music used to score the film and convey the disorientating, feverish reality of life in the Donbass. The original score utilised the roaring rhythm as both a mobilising force, an inspiration for revolutionary enthusiasm, and a regulator of the new economies of movement (1). The soundtrack arguably plays an essential narrative role. So we are especially excited to be presenting the screening with a live musical accompaniment for a truly immersive experience. That Fucking Tank, a duo themselves known for experimenting with sound and pushing the boundaries of performance, are promising a new score that works with and augments the original, ground breaking soundtrack to respond to the idea of the acceleration of everyday life under mechanisation. We can’t wait!

Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass screens on Thursday 28th July. Tickets available online via Eventbrite or on the door £8/£7 concessions. Doors open 8.30pm.

1. Kulikov, V. (2016). Communist decoding of the world: “Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass” by Dziga Vertov. Journal of Kharkiv National University V.N. Karazin. “History”, 2014, No1117, Issue 48, p. 250-254. Retrieved from Academia.edu.


Text by Michelle who is an artist and photographer, her work can be found on the blog alabamathirteen.
Image by Liz Ainge.