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Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera) (1929)

Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)


Average Rating: 8.9/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Counted: 3
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 1


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 7,831


Movie Info

Soviet director Dziga Vertov's experimental film grew out of his belief, shared by his editor, Elizaveta Svilova (who was also his wife), and his cinematographer, Mikhail Kaufman (also his brother), that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived. To that end, the filmmakers offer a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn until dusk, though they actually shot their footage in several cities, including Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa. After an opening statement, there are no … More

Documentary , Art House & International , Classics , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
Dziga Vertov , Dziga Vertov Group
In Theaters:
May 13, 2003
Amkino Corporation


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Critic Reviews for Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1) | DVD (5)

A truly radical and liberating work.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It becomes quite tedious and the hour that it lasts seems at least an hour and a half.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The film remains a fascinating souvenir, though its flourishes are now fairly familiar.

Full Review… | December 24, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The film's energy is a key aspect of its optimism, a dawn to dusk challenge to show us a day in the life of a Soviet urban dweller

Full Review… | January 24, 2010

One of the towering masterpieces of Soviet cinema. As much of a joy it is to watch, it is sad to think that the director was effectively silenced as soon as Stalin made "Socialist Realism" mandatory.

Full Review… | December 30, 2008

An odd curio that remains quaint.

Full Review… | May 12, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Announced to be an experiment in creating a "truly international language of cinema" it is an early example of self referential filmmaking

Full Review… | November 25, 2005
Urban Cinefile

It's one of the most amazing, beautiful, complicated and ground-breaking films ever made, and yet it doesn't seem to have ever earned the respect it deserves.

Full Review… | April 4, 2005
Combustible Celluloid

Man with a Movie Camera is like a wordless anthem for all cinephiles, directly targeting that je ne sais quoi that makes cinema so powerful.

Full Review… | September 15, 2003
Montreal Film Journal

It's a startlingly avant-garde cross-examination of modern life, as well as a lesson in the power of filmmaking and an autopsy of its methods.

Full Review… | July 30, 2003
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This belongs on the essential list

Full Review… | January 30, 2003
Old School Reviews

Anyone interested in cinema must see this.

January 27, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

The most exhilarating mind trip you can have without taking drugs.

December 17, 2002
Lawrence Journal-World

This is cameraman as documenter, magician and stuntman rolled into one.

Full Review… | December 4, 2002
Eye for Film

At less than an hour, the film is a whirling delight, a kinetic overload of motion, elation, and unrestrained optimism.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Nashville Scene

Audience Reviews for Chelovek s kino-apparatom (Man with a Movie Camera)


This experimental documentary is a plotless record of life in the Soviet Union, mainly important as a then avant-garde catalog of camera tricks and editing experiments (many of which were pioneered in this film but are commonplace or obsolete now). Most non-film students will find this boring and want to stay far, far away, but it has its visually impressive moments, the issues it raises are rich, and it's too important in the history of cinema to give a poor rating.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

A powerful film, showing the day, of a few, urban citys of Soviet Union. Present all the contrast of the happenings, and showing too how the born of a day have a similarity with an awaken of the woman in the screen and how start the movement in the towns. Man with a Movie Camera, is a amazing experience about the language of the cinema and with the help of the editing and others tricks on cinema tell storys. And in this way that, Vertov, without story or professionals actors, just the direction, photography and music, show the magic happen. Fresh.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


A beautiful, brilliant film of life. I highly recommend seeing this movie. It's a classic.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

Call me crazy, but I see nothing in this besides Communist propaganda and goofy special effects. I'm being gracious giving it as high a rating as I did, which is only out of respect to the fan base it has and the impact it's had on so many. I feel like it is an overly ambitious and hokey type of movie, the shot of the cameraman in the beer glass is just ridiculous. I do find the Communist labor hilarious and the multiple assurances of equality, but in no way do I see it as a landmark in film history.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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