Yakov Bliokh's Shanghai Document, which, according to an early intertitle, resulted from "a Sovkino expedition to Shanghai in 1927," is a most unusual document. Although Bliokh was credited as the film's director and co-scenarist, he apparently never strayed beyond Moscow in order to do so. The film is most notable for its scathing socio-political critique, and its gruesome footage of some of the assassinations that took place during the Shanghai Massacre, as well as the corpses that littered the city streets in its aftermath. The film is highly atypical of the city symphony genre, although Mikhail Kaufman's Moscow stands as an exception to this rule, and may well have been an influence on Bliokh. It was V. L. Stepanov, Bliokh's co-scenarist, who led the "expedition" to Shanghai at a time when the Soviets were backing an uprising that sought to unseat the Beijing government, and Sovkino thought a nonfiction film about Shanghai would help.