Aelita: Queen of Mars, shot and released in 1924 by the great Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov, was the first - and some would say the greatest - Russian science fiction film produced. This silent, black-and-white film tells the story of a young man who travels in a rocket ship to Mars and, with the help of Aelita, the queen of the planet, leads a righteous uprising against the ruling elite. On the Open Culture site, readers will find an excellent introduction to the early 20th century classic, as well as links to other, related resources, such as Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece, Metropolis. The film itself, in all its imaginative glory, is also available here. For readers who wish to see an early film treatment of the Red Planet, as well as a piece of art that influenced everything from the 1957 film Road to the Stars to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: Space Odyssey, Aelita: Queen of Mars will be a welcome aesthetic experience.