Russia Cinema Aelita: The Queen of Mars (1924)

Aelita: The Queen of Mars (1924)

Directed by Yakov Protazanov; script by Alexei Tolstoy, Fyodor Otsep and Alexei Faiko; sets by Isaac Rabinovich; movie poster by Israel Bograd.

The film is based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel Aelita and is set in Russia in the difficult years of War Communism. Los the engineer designs a spaceship to fly to Mars. His aim is to escape the cold and hunger of Earth, where his neighbour is attempting to seduce his wife. Los later wakes up to find that the flight to Mars, his love affair with Queen Aelita of Mars and the revolution of the Martian slaves are only a dream. He finds himself in a Moscow railway station, where he took refuge from the police after unsuccessfully attempting to kill his wife. Returning home, Los learns that his wife has been faithful to him. He decided that life on Earth is not so bad after all and throws the plans for his spaceship into the fire.

Aelita was the first film in the Soviet period of Yakov Protazanov (1885–1955), who began shooting in 1923, following his return to Russia from abroad.

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