Category Archives: Films

Russian Space History – Imagery

As this week closes, I wanted to highlight that seems somewhat obvious to those with even a casual interest in the history of Russian/Soviet space activities, its incredibly rich visual record. The picture that Andy posted of cosmonaut Shatalov meeting … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian Space History, Soviet and Russian Space Flight, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mikhalkov as monarchist and Slavophile – his 2010 Manifesto “Right and Truth” (Право и Правда)

In October 2010 influential filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov published an extensive “Manifesto of Enlightened Conservatism” which was published as “Right and Truth” in polit.ru. (Read in Russian here.) The defense of serfdom attributed to Mikhalkov, which I posted yesterday, may well … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian History in Popular Culture, Russian Orthodoxy, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov Praises the “Wisdom of Serfdom”

According to a website called “Tsenzor.Net” filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov told a group of journalists that he is preparing to make a film praising serfdom as “the wisdom of the nation.” His comments show a romanticization of history that is pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Miss Gulag

Our university is holding a Russian documentary film series. We showed one of the films that I reviewed here earlier (http://russianhistoryblog.org/author/andy/page/2/). Our next film is called Miss Gulag, produced in 2007 and directed by Maria Yatskova (for an interview with … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Gender and Sexuality, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia | 4 Comments

Watching October

I have an uneasy relationship with using films in my classroom.  Since I most often teach early modern history, I tend to avoid the whole genre because I’d prefer to avoid ahistorical images in my classroom.  When I teach modern … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian and Soviet Art, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

900 Days

The Nazi siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941. It ended 874 days later, one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history. The Soviets won at the cost of more than 1 million soldiers killed, captured, or … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, oral history, Russian History in Popular Culture, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, World War II | 6 Comments

The Nuclear Age: A New Documentary

People often say we live in the “nuclear age,” but what that means is never entirely clear. A new documentary produced by a former ABC newsman captures the spirit, or rather spirits, of that era – from its beginnings in … Continue reading

Posted in Chernobyl, Cold War, Films, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian Orthodoxy | 2 Comments

Marina Goldovskaya: Chronicler of the Post-Brezhnev Era

My post is about a film festival that was held on my campus on March 18. We screened three documentary films by documentary filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya. I emerged from the event, and also after reading her autobiography, convinced of the … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Perestroika, Post-Soviet Russia | 1 Comment

Three Songs About Motherland

My university (California State University, Long Beach) is screening a number of documentary films about Russia this semester, including three films from the esteemed documentary film maker Marina Goldovskaya: A Taste of Freedom (1991, 46 min.), A Bitter Taste of Freedom … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

Desert of Forbidden Art

This 2010 documentary, which has deservedly gotten a lot of press, is well worth showing to students (http://desertofforbiddenart.com/). It follows a treasure trove of Russian art stashed in a remote desert region of Uzbekistan known as Karakalpakstan, where the art … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian and Soviet Art, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 1 Comment

Stalin’s Daughter

The death of Svetlana Alliluyeva in a nursing home in Wisconsin brings to a close a fascinating and tragic life. The documentary film maker Lana Parshina in 2007 had the good luck of landing one of the few extensive interviews … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History | 7 Comments

Aftermath!

Just a quick update to my last post on “Ivan the Terrible and the American adolescent.” The show in which I appeared (http://www.spike.com/full-episodes/59fkzw/deadliest-warrior-ivan-the-terrible-vs-hern-n-cort-s-season-3-ep-307) declared Hernan Cortes the victor over Ivan the Terrible. Ivan’s weapons were superior but psychological factors, once … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

Ivan the Terrible and the American adolescent

I got involved in the TV show described below to see first hand the process whereby expertise gets turned into entertainment. The show is called Deadliest Warrior. It’s on Spike TV and seems to be for the 12-18 year-old male … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian History in Popular Culture | 2 Comments

The Russian Concept?

I’ve just seen an engaging 2010 documentary entitled the “Russian Concept” (for a trailer see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-l66s2Fglk). Based on interviews with artists, art collectors and esteemed art historians, the documentary provides a short and entertaining survey of art little known to … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian and Soviet Art, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 4 Comments

The Woman with the Five Elephants

This blog is about an excellent 2010 documentary by Vadim Jendreyko entitled “The Woman with the Five Elephants.” (For a trailer see: http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/woman-with-5-elephants/trailer) The five elephants referred to in the title are classic novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Svetlana Geier, the … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian Literature, World War II | 3 Comments

On Monkies and Lost Colonies

Having just finished my last classes for my modern Russia survey, I wanted to share some thoughts on a documentary that I used to discuss Post-Soviet Russia. The 2008 documentary is entitled The Lost Colony. For a clip, see: http://hotdocsaudience.bside.com/2008/films/thelostcolony_hotdocs2008. … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet Science | 6 Comments

The Way Back: Cold War Emotions Revived?

  Just before Christmas I saw the newly released The Way Back, in many ways a typical escape story. Directed by Peter Weir, the film tells the incredible story of how a young Polish officer, arrested in 1939 and sent … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Gulag, Soviet Era 1917-1991 | 6 Comments