Rise and Fall of a Revolutionary

Author & Director:
Daniel Ast | Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editors:
Dagmar Mielke | Rolf Bergmann | Dr. Meggy Steffens


52' | World Distribution: Telepool

astfilm productions | ARTE | RBB | BR // ARD | ARTE

Petrograd, November 7th 1917. With a brilliant coup Leon Trotsky conquers the power for the Bolsheviks in Russia. The excellent speaker is with Lenin the true maker of the so called "October-Revolution". Shortly after Trotsky, now commander-in-chief, leads the Red Army, which was founded by him, into a bloody civil-war. He achieves the impossible, the young Soviet Union survives. Trotsky became the hero of the Russian Revolution and was worship like a saint. But he regards the "October-Revolution" and the civil-war only as a necessary first step for his main aim - the world revolution. But soon the hero was to become a target of his rival Stalin, who was always underestimated by Trotsky. Step by step Stalin takes away his power and finally erased him from the history of the Revolution.

The "revolutionary" Trotsky, beloved and hated, admired, but also often regarded as a devil. His life is like a Greek tragedy. 1879, exactly 38 years before the Russian Revolution took place, he was born as Lew Bronstein, the son of a Jewish farmer. Under the pseudonym "Trotsky" he achieved fame throughout the World, but at the end he faces segregation and exile. Almost his whole family is murdered by Stalin's Secret Service. Hundreds of thousands are banned as "Trotskyites", imprisoned, and killed. At the end the hero of the "October-Revolution" is brutally murdered by an assassin with an ice pick.

Archive footage from all over the world was collected, quotes from Trotsky grants a electrifying look at the historic person and the man Trotsky. Experts like Anne Applebaum, Gerd Koenen, Jean-Jacques Marie, Nicolas Werth and Esteban Volkov - the grandson of Trotsky - they all give a full picture of the story, that ranges from St. Petersburg to Moscow, from Paris to Vienna and from Istanbul to Mexico City. Trotsky - a unique political biography in the 20th Century.