In Sergei Eisenstein's cinematic debut, the suicide of a worker unjustly accused of theft prompts the laborers working at a Moscow factory to call a strike. The managers, the owner and the Czarist government dispatch infiltrators in an attempt to break the workers' unity. When that proves unsuccessful, they hire the police and, in the film's most harrowing and powerful sequences, the unarmed strikers are slaughtered in a brutal confrontation.

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