In one of the opening scenes of Trotsky, the 2017 television mini-series produced by Russian state television and directed by Alexander Kott and Konstantin Statsky,1 Trotsky is travelling on his armoured train in the midst of the Civil War of 1918-21, accompanied by the Bolshevik fighter Larissa Reisner. They are speeding towards Svyazhsk, where soldiers of the Red Army have retreated in disarray and are at the point of mutiny. Trotsky and Reisner have sex on the train, their sexual thrusting and groans interspersed with pictures and noise of the pistons of the train. The train arrives at Svyazhsk, towering threateningly over the tiny human beings at the siding. Both the overwhelming power of the machine, dwarfing the human beings beneath it, and its sexualisation, are images drawn from fascist iconography.
Poster for the TV mini-series Trotsky, starring Konstantin Khabensky
Trotsky defuses the mutiny by gifting his…
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