A Russian-French Documentary, 1908

Zavod Rybnykh Konservov v Astrakhani / Fish Factory in Astrakhan
R: Unknown. P: Pathé. RUS / Fr 1908
Engl. titles

A Fish Factory in Astrakhan is part of the Pathé Frères series ‘Picturesque Russia’, typical of their efficient documentary style. The company had established a Moscow equipment and sales office in 1904, which also rented their French-made films to Russia’s burgeoning cinema network. It was the emergence of Drankov as the first self-declared indigenous producer that prompted Pathé to start production in Russia in February 1908.”

“Actualities made by foreign companies, like Pathé’s A Fish Factory in Astrakhan stimulated a demand for home-produced films which was finally answered by the enterprising Drankov. His Sten’ka Razin (1908) enjoyed immense success as the first Russian dramatic film. Pathé responded by increasing production at their Moscow studio, with art films like Princess Tarakanova (1910) and the first Chekhov adaptation, Romance with Double-Bass (1911).”
Indiana University

“A Fish Factory in Astrakhan (1908), one of the series called ‘Picturesque Russia’, is an early travelogue common in the first years of Russian cinema. (…) The camera lingers on the docks along the Volga deltas, the boats, fisherman, stevedores, cleaners, scalers, salters – women and Bashkirs prominent among them – at work in providing the fish delicacies that we will see being devoured with champagne and voka in films about the haute monde.”
Richard Stites: Passion and Perception: Essays on Russian Culture. New Academia Publishing, LLC, 2010, p. 291

>>> Stenka Razin on this site