Against Fathers’ Will synopsis

Against Fathers’ Will (Mabul) 1926 (43’30)  dir  Evgeny Ivanov-Barkov

Based on Shalom Aleichem’s story, Flow of Blood, this film depicts the participation of Jews in the 1905 Revolution. The first version (Mabul) was banned by the Soviet government because it depicted only rich Jews as revolutionaries. Also the government disliked the depiction of the pogrom, which showed an inhuman side to soviet citizens. This version was also banned for the same reasons, and didn’t get screened during Soviet times. Although of a serious nature, the film contains many comedy elements including a wonderful revolutionary argument on seder night between Kaufmann and his daughter Esfir.

Kaufmann and his neighbour Rosenfeld are sworn enemies. Their children Boris and Esfir are in love.

They both go off to University (in St Petersburg) where Esfir, under the influence of her teacher Anton joins the underground revolutionary movement.

The revolutionary group are betrayed by a comrade. Anton is captured and hanged. and then the Russian police capture her and she is sent to prison. The governmet issue a manifesto to stop further revolutionary activity, and during the struggle the bystander Boris gets injured. Esfir is freed from  captivity. Following a terrible pogrom, Kaufmann and Rosenfeld are reconciled, Boris joins the revolution.