Because it is a film, I began researching issues concerning the Battleship Potemkin by looking at some film reviews. But when I shifted from the film to the 1905 mutiny on which is was based, I followed the recommendation I give to my students. I looked up the entry on Wikipedia.
Too often, I hear people talk about the inaccuracies in Wikipedia as if other web sites were—by definition—always more accurate. However, as with any encyclopedia, Wikipedia is a great place to begin. In fact, because it provides links to the citations used to support the entry as well as other external sources, it is actually more useful than most other encyclopedias.
I must admit that I did not find the external links in the Wikipedia article which I have already consulted to be very remarkable. In fact, there are not the types of sources I would rely on for my research, Wikipedia did give me what I wanted; a basic understanding of the major issues concerning the 1905 mutiny. With that general understanding, it will be easier for me to continue my research.
Part of my work this evening was simply to get a general idea of what types of sources were available so I did take time to search Academic Search Complete which is one of Schoolcraft College’s on-line databases. There were several entries that I think will be very useful, but it was too late when I did my research to consult them tonight.
Instead of coming out for or against resources such as Wikipedia, I would prefer that we focus on the proper use of various resources. My work with Wikipedia tonight was worthwhile to get me started. However, I would never cite Wikipedia or any other encyclopedia as an academic source. Furthermore, I would not trust any one source for information; especially until I have done broad based reading on the topic.
Wikipedia’s Battleship Potemkin
Wikipedia’s “Russian Battleship Potemkin“
Hoskinson, Mark “Battleship Potemkin, Strike, October by Sergei Eisenstein: Appreciation.” Permanent Revolution. 22 February 2008.
Snider, Eric D. “What’s the Big Deal: Battleship Potemkin (1925).” Film.com/Movies. 23 November 2010.
Internet Movie Database’s Battleship Potemkin.
- “The flag seen flying on the ship after the crew had mutinied was white, which is the color of the tsars, but this was done so that it could be hand painted red on the celluloid, which is the color of communism. Since this is a black and white film, if the flag had been red, it would have shown up black in the film.”