Herman Axelbank's film Tsar to Lenin provides an unparalleled film record of the Russian Revolution.
Axelbank worked at Goldwyn Pictures in New York. In 1917 he spotted a newspaper headline: Revolution in Russia! "I wish I could take motion picture there," he said. "We don't have any of our own from 1775."
The American revolutionary Max Eastman helped him make the film. An early supporter of the Bolsheviks, Eastman had travelled to Russia in the 1920s. He had close political relations with many of the leaders of the Soviet regime and especially with Leon Trotsky.