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Visual Metaphor in "Strike"

by Jeremy Butler

One method for generating metaphors is through a sequence of images—much as Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein theorized 90 years ago. By bringing two or more images together in sequence, a filmmaker can imply that one image should be compared with the other and that there are similarities between them. A staunch socialist and revolutionary, Eisenstein advocated the use of visual metaphor or, as he called it, intellectual montage, for political causes. In the instance of his film Strike, he intercut shots of heroic striking workers being beaten by police with shots of a bull being slaughtered. The metaphoric meaning is clear: strikers are cattle. And, further, it graphically argues that a gross injustice is being done.

Visual Metaphor in "Strike"

Sergei Eisenstein's use of visual metaphor.

from Strike (1925)
Creator: Sergei Eisenstein
Posted by Jeremy Butler