Arterial pumps, artificial heads, dramatic fade edits – the body is a machine, and Soviet filmmakers, part of an art culture that mastered the popular and social uses of images, employ their cameras to document as much in the laboratory.
There’s a fine line here between documentary and science fiction, at best a propaganda piece placing the Soviet Union at the forefront of conducting what we might call “life extension” experiments. Canines, among the first space adventurers, star here as the agents for the next frontier of science. Did they go very far? Were the experiments actually “successful”? Who cares! The bizarro medico-cinema vibes are strong. Part I below:
“This disturbing film records the successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs), as conducted by Dr. S.S. Bryukhonenko at the Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy, Voronezh, U.S.S.R. Director: D.I. Yashin. Camera: E.V. Kashina. Narrator: Professor Walter B. Cannon. Introduced by Professor J.B.S. Haldane.”