Eisenstein in Guanajuato

Eisenstein in Guanajuato is a 2015 biographical romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Peter Greenaway. Starring Elmer Bäck as Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein, alongside Stelio Savante, Lisa Owen, Maya Zapata, Luis Alberti, Jakob Öhrman, Rasmus Slätis, and Raino Ranta, the film is an international co-production between companies in the Netherlands, Mexico, Belgium, Finland, and France.

Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Greenaway
Produced by
Written byPeter Greenaway
StarringElmer Bäck
CinematographyReinier van Brummelen
Edited byElmer Leupen
Distributed by
  • Cinemein (Netherlands)
  • Piano (Mexico)
  • B-Plan Distribution (Finland)
  • Pyramide Distribution (France)
Release date
  • 11 February 2015 (2015-02-11) (Berlin)
  • 18 June 2015 (2015-06-18) (Netherlands)
  • 8 July 2015 (2015-07-08) (France)
  • 4 September 2015 (2015-09-04) (Finland)
  • 22 January 2016 (2016-01-22) (Mexico)
Running time
105 minutes[1]
  • Netherlands
  • Mexico
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France
  • English
  • Spanish
  • 2.472 million
  • ($2.8 million)
Box office$78,542[2]



Eisenstein in Guanajuato premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival in the main competition section[3] on 11 February 2015. The film was voted to the bottom place by the Screen International‘s critics’ jury and subsequently ignored by the official jury.[4]

The film opened theatrically 18 June in the Netherlands, 8 July in France, 4 September in Finland, and 22 January 2016 in Mexico. It was granted a very limited theatrical release in the United States on 5 February 2016.

Critical reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 55% score based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's consensus states: "Eisenstein in Guanajuato is certainly bold, but its provocations aren't always enough to overcome a lack of depth and clear narrative purpose."[5] Metacritic reports a 60 out of 100 rating based on 16 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6]

Critic and author David Robinson praised Greenaway's "...own post-modern pictorialism still as ingenious, flashy and painstakingly wrought in his seventies." He also criticised the film heavily for its salaciousness and many historical inaccuracies, stating that of Eisenstein's wife Pera Atasheva and his many friends, confidants and colleagues: "None of these would recognise the Eisenstein they knew in Greenaway’s Guanajuato."[4]

See also


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