Russia Cinema His Excellency (1927)

His Excellency (1927)

Directed by Grigory Roshal; script by Grigory Roshal and Vera Stroyeva; camera by Nikolai Kozlovsky; starring Leonid Leonidov.

The film was shot by Grigory Roshal (1898–1983) and is based on a true story. Hirsh Lekert was a Jewish shoemaker who fired a pistol at General Victor von Wahl, the governor of Vilna, on 5 May 1902.

This was the second independent film shot by Grigory Roshal, who approached the assassination attempt from a moral-psychological standpoint. The actors included such theatre and film stars as Leonid Leonidov.

The governor orders the police to disperse a May Day meeting of workers. Several of the demonstrators are killed and the rest are arrested. As many Jews end up in prison, the rabbis fear a pogrom and ask the governor to punish the workers, but to protect the other Jewish inhabitants. The governor promises to avoid a pogrom and orders the arrested workers to be birched. Enraged by this punishment, Hirsh Lekert shoots and injures the governor. He is arrested and sentenced to death.

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