The complete list of works by the prominent Russian and Soviet silent movie director Yakov Aleksandrovich Protazanov contains 109 movies. It was a pure chance that he got into the movie industry when he, a bored youth with an interest in engineering sciences, wandered into the Pathé film studios in Paris. He started making movies as a production director in 1909. At first, he was into adaptations, making films such as: the Fountain of Bakhchisarai, War and Peace, the Queen of Spades, and Nokolai Stavrogin (The Possessed). In 1918, he went abroad to make movies in Germany and France. In 1923, he returned to the Soviet Union and started shooting films immediately.
This time, he made a screen adaptation of a new novel in a trendy genre – science fiction. Some movie critics claim that Protazanov chose Aelita by Aleksey Tolstoy so that he could show the slums and the coldness of Moscow. Well, he succeeded, as he did with showing massive revolutionary unrest on Mars, incited by fervent revolutionaries who arrived on a space rocket. Protazanov’s first Soviet movie should have taken its rightful place in the hall of glory of the nation’s cinema had it ever existed. Protazanov discovered future movie stars, such as: Nokolai Batalov, Yulia Solntseva, Igor Ilyinsky. In short, the movie premier had a lot to offer to the viewers on September 25, 1924.