Scen.: Solomon Lazurin. F.: Albert Kyun. Scgf.: Volodimir Balljuzek. Int.: Vira Vareckaja (Nadja), Chajri Ėmir-Zade (Serhii Kargal’skij), Nikolai Kutuzov (Valeriy), Nikolaj Panov, Alik Litoveckij. Prod.: VUFKU. DCP. D.: 84’. Bn.
The Red Army leaves the city. Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee Serhii Kargal’skij asks his wife Nadja to stay and hide a secret package with documents. As soon as the White Army enters the city, they come to search Nadja’s apartment. Even though they do not find the package, Nadja is arrested. A White Army counterintelligence officer holds a lengthy interrogation with her in their headquarters. Nadja resolves to say nothing and does her best not to reveal the location of the package despite the blackmail and threats to her son, her husband and even her sanity.
Inspired by a dramatic life story of an anti-imperialist revolutionary Egor Sozonov, Order na aresht is the first Soviet Ukrainian film that thematises the traditional silence of the woman in patriarchal culture. Nadja is forced to speak yet thanks to her ability to keep silent, she manages to resist the rational world of men and war.
Order na aresht is one of the first successful films made by All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema administration (VUFKU), which was established in 1922 as a modern state monopoly that controlled film production, distribution and exhibition in Ukraine. VUFKU successfully operated on the international market, selling its films to France, Germany, UK, USA and Canada, signing contracts with Kodak, Pathé, Agfa, Artkino. Moreover, VUFKU managed to create an inter-disciplinary cultural platform and engage many progressive Kulturträgers of that time (German cameraman Josef Rona, Russian poet Vladimir Majakovskij, constructivist sculptor Ivan Kavaleridze, photographer Danilo Demuc’kij, theatrical director Les Kurbas, artist Aleksandr Dovženko and the Kaufman brothers).
Order na aresht was made by Heorhii Tasin (the head of the Odessa Film Studio, a big admirer of German expressionism and the director of the first Soviet ‘eastern’ Alim about the life and struggle of Crimean Tatars) in collaboration with German DOP Albert Kyun and famous Crimean theatrical actor Chajri Ėmir-Zade.
As a result, despite its narrative thrills of cloak-and-dagger transformations, psychological torture and the romance of revolutionary committees, Order na aresht is also a reflection on the emancipation of women and their role in the historical and social processes of civil wars. Moreover, the interrogation of Nadja Kargal’ska turns into a Soviet foreshadowing of the trial from The Passion of Joan of Arc, which Carl Th. Dreyer would make two years after Tasin’s film.