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Russia/Soviet Union

17 August

Focuses on documenting one day in the life of Boris Bezotechestvo, a murderer serving his entire sentence in solitary confinement in a prison situated on a small Island on Lake Novozero in central Russia. The filmmaker explores what happens when nothing happens. The theme of crime and punishment is present in every moment. When there is no death sentence, there is only time. Time can be spent conversing with God - or maybe with the Devil. Boris asks himself whether he should try to go insane. Written and directed by Alexander Gutman.

And the Past Seems But a Dream

In 1938 a group of children wrote an idealistic book called 'We are from Igarka.' The director planned to film their touching reunion 50 years later. But another childhood was revealed: "... a time that was much more painful than the worst nightmare." 67 min.--Theater Square: On June 1, 1988, a hunger strike was organized in Yerevan's historic Theater Square over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, populated mainly by Armenians, but located in Azerbaijan. The film portrays this event without commentary or interviews. 26 min. 1988.

Asaltar los cielos

Depicts one of the most controversial historical events of the 20th century: The assassination of Leon Trotsky, a communist who was instrumental in founding the Red Army and the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. His assassin, Ramon Mercader, one of Lenin's most loyal followers remained a mystery his entire life. Directed by Javier Rioyo, Jose-Luis Lopez Linares. 1996. 96 min.

Bells From the Deep: Faith and Superstition in Russia (Glocken aus der Tiefe)

Examines the mysticism and asceticism of religious practices in a region of Siberia near the upper course of the Yenisei River: pilgrims crawling across a barely frozen lake, hoping for a view of the legendary Kitezh, a village believed sunken intact by God to save it from Mongol raiders, "transmission of cosmic energy" into bottled water hawked by faith healer Alan Chumack; women under the spell of "sorcerer/exorcist" Yuri Tarassov; and followers of a robed, Christ-like man. A film by Werner Herzog. 1993. 60 min.

Berlin 1945.

This film is about the final Russian conflict, the fight to take Berlin. From Russian archive material witness probably the bloodiest battle of World War II. Over 40 Belorussian and 1st Ukranian Army cameramen contributed footage to this remarkable documentary. 60 min.

Beslan: Siege of School no. 1

This Wide Angle report investigates the terrorism at the Beslan school where Checknya insurgents took children, parents and teachers hostage in the bloodiest act of terrorism in Russia since Chechnya declared its independence. Based on firsthand testimony and rare footage from inside the school, Beslan explores the motivation of the hostage-takers, the Russian government's failed effort to manage the crisis, and the calamity's legacy for survivors, bereaved families, and Russia's future stability.

Black Square

The story of Russia's artistic avant-garde from the 1950s to the 1970s. A cinematic appreciation of works only recently allowed to be exhibited and of the artists that created them. 56 min. 1988.-- Dialogues: A bacchanal of rock-jazz music erupts in an dancing, and playing makes this group of people a community and an ensemble, not just a crowd. 29 min. 1987.

Blockade (Blokada)

Created from archival footage of the siege of Leningrad found in Soviet film archives and meticulously reconstructed with a soundtrack added to the original silent footage. Hitler attempted to starve the Soviet city into submission resulting in the longest siege of World War II. The siege lasted for 900 days, with the blockade contributing to the largest-scale famine ever seen in the industrialized world. A Film by Sergei Loznitsa. 2005. 52 min.

Related web sites: Description from Icarus Films catalog

Bought and Sold

Based on a two year undercover investigation conducted by the Global Survival Network into the illegal trafficking in women from the Former Soviet republics, this documentary features interviews with traffickers, Russian mafia, trafficked women, and groups working to provide services to these women. A production of the Witness Project which uses video technology to investigate human rights abuses. 1997. 42 min.

Related web sites:Witness web site

Brave New World, 1945. (The Peoples' Century )

Just over fifty years ago, Soviet and American troops met at the River Elbe and rejoiced at the defeat of Nazi Germany but their optimism was short lived. This film tracks the building tensions between these two superpowers, from the post-war world of the late 1940s through the early 1960s, as the hope for peace swiftly disintegrated into a "cold" war. Here eyewitnesses recall the meeting on the Elbe, the impact of Stalin, Churchill and Khrushchev, propaganda wars between the two nations, the Berlin blockade, the Hungarian uprising and the installation of the Berlin Wall. 1998. 56 min.