Below is "Symphony of Baku Oil" (1933), which we watched and discussed in class today.
Relevant to our conversation, some scholars consider films on the Baku oil-boom to be early examples of the eco-disaster genre of film that we still love to this day. So now you know what Stalinism has in common with Wall-E.
If you're interested in the history of film, you might check out the chapter in Robin Murray and Joseph Heumann's book, Ecology and Popular Film: Cinema on the Edge called "Ecology and Specatacle in Oil Wells of Baku: Close View: The first Eco-Disaster Film?" You can read parts of it here on Google Books. We're going to revisit the theme of eco-disaster and film when we talk about Chernobyl in a few weeks, which could be an interesting basis for a final project.
Here is the Baku oil-field footage we saw the other day, which includes some from before the 1917 Revolution. We looked at a clip from minute 16:40-18:35.
And, of course, James Bond goes to Baku in "The World is Not Enough."