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Incendiary images and striking words are often what cause the most controversy, but what about the power of ideas?

Sergei Eisenstein’s 1925 five act silent film Battleship Potemkin is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, the story of sailors on the titular battleship rising up against their superiors after being given rotten meat and inciting a civilian uprising, one which paved the way for the Russian Revolution.

Yet Battleship Potemkin is also one of the most censored films of all time. For years, countries around the globe refused to allow Eisenstein’s film to be screened for fear that it might spread communism, including right here in the UK, the BBFC labelling it ‘Bolshevik propaganda’ and keeping it banned until 1954. It’s even alleged that French customs burned copies of the film upon arrival in the country.

Almost 100 years later, Battleship Potemkin is no longer feared for its political impact, but it’s still widely revered as an influential masterpiece, not least the infamous Odessa Steps sequence. For this special screening, acclaimed pianist Jonny Best will be performing a live improvised score to accompany the startling imagery.

Warning! Contains civilian unrest, subversive imagery and one of the greatest sequences ever committed to celluloid.

MAC’s reopening cinema programme has been generously supported by BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience fund from the National Lottery, through the BFI Film Audience Fund. Duration includes trailers and adverts. Please note that we do not admit latecomers after the main feature has started and we have a limited food & drink policy. See more information about Relaxed Screenings here.