Prize-winning Mosfilm is on youtube: “Optimistic Tragedy,” on Revolutionary heroine and author Larisa Reisner

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December 20, 2016 – Fort Russ News –

“Writer Larisa Reisner 1895-1926. A fighter of the Volga Fleet in 1918. A Commissar of the Chief Naval Headquarters in 1919.”  This is in the Vagankovo Cemetery, Moscow.

Watch the film, with English subtitles:

For samples of her work, in English, click Reisner.

The Wikipedia article on Reisner includes Trotsky’s appreciation of her:
“Larissa Reisner […] was herself prominent in the Fifth army, as well as in the revolution as a whole. This fine young woman flashed across the revolutionary sky like a burning meteor, blinding many. With her appearance of an Olympian goddess, she combined a subtle and ironical mind with the courage of a warrior.

 After the capture of Kazan by the Whites, she went into the enemy camp to reconnoitre, disguised as a peasant woman. But her appearance was too extraordinary, and she was arrested. While she was being cross-examined by a Japanese intelligence officer, she took advantage of an interval to slip through the carelessly guarded door and disappear. 

After that, she engaged in intelligence work. Later, she sailed on war-boats and took part in battles. Her sketches about the civil war are literature. With equal gusto, she would write about the Ural industries and the rising of the workers in the Ruhr. She was anxious to know and to see all, and to take part in everything. In a few brief years, she became a writer of the first rank. But after coming unscathed through fire and water, this Pallas of the revolution suddenly burned up with typhus in the peaceful surroundings of Moscow.”

Her brief biography [translated from Russian by Fort Russ] at

Publicist, journalist, revolutionary, poet. A member of the Bolshevik Party 1918. During the Civil War was a political officer on the Eastern Front, the Commissioner on the ships of the Volga-Caspian Flotilla. She was the prototype of the female Commissioner in the famous film “Optimistic Tragedy” of Vsevolod Vishnevsky. From 1921 she worked in the Soviet embassy in Afghanistan, and in 1923 and 1925 worked in Germany as a special correspondent of the “Red Star” and “News.” Author of numerous essays, collected in the book “The Front” (1924), “Afghanistan” (1924), “Hamburg at the barricades” (1925), “Coal, iron, and real people” (1925), author of the play “Atlantis” (1913) , wrote poetry.

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