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Karl Marx. The Early Years

Soviet Union, East Germany 1980, 467 min., TV movie, 7 parts
Director: Lev Kulidzhanov, Writer: Anatoli Grebnew, Boris Dobrodejew, Cinematography: Vadim Yusov, Music: Bernd Wefelmeier, Production: Gorky Studio, Starring: Ventsislav Kisyov, Renata Blume, Aleksandr Safronov, Eduard Martsevich

Produced for Soviet and East German television, this elaborate 7-part historical drama follows the early life of Karl Marx; from his youth in Trier, throughout his university studies in Berlin, to his time as a journalist in Cologne, up to his engagement to Jenny von Westphalen and their time in exile in France and Belgium.
These various stations of Marx’s early life are intertwined with his growing enthusiasm for socialist ideals and the early development of communism. Integral to Marx’s developing ideals was his friendship with Friedrich Engels, who following their meeting in Paris would support Marx’s work. Together, through their intense study of Political Economy, the two would develop the theory of Dialectical Materialism, and conclude that the proletariat must mobilize for organized struggle.
Marx’s constant financial struggles, his persecution by the authorities, as well as his ultimate deportation and flight to Belgium are all handled in the style of classic Soviet Cinema. Naturally, no amount of adversity can prevent the young revolutionary, with his ever-growing family and loyal wife at his side, from devoting his life to advancing the ideals of communism.


Lenin Prize 1982