The Arsenal features Semyon Svashenko as Tyrnish, a humble Ukranian soldier. Through Tyrnish's experiences we are permitted to witness the incredible social upheavals of the World War I years which led to the Russian revolution. The film's setpiece is the 1918 Kiev worker's rebellion. The White Russian troops are clearly the villains of the piece--faceless automatons who blindly follow orders while flesh-and-blood types like Tyrnsh suffer hope, fear and anguish. Arsenal was the first of Alexandre Dovzhenko's Ukraine trilogy, followed by Earth (1930) and Ivan (1932).