UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Russia/Soviet Union

If the People Will Lead.

Reviews the events of the 3 days in 1991 leading up to the collapse of the Communist Party government in Russia and the role of the Russian people in securing their own freedom. 58 min.
Full-text review from:ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

In the Name of Love: Modern Day Mail Order Brides

What's motivating the thousands of Russian women who sign up with agencies to meet and marry American men? From the gray skies of St. Petersburg to sunny California ranches, we see the financial and emotional pros and cons of exporting one's heart. The film grapples with the tremendous economic challenges and difficult decisions facing Russian women today. Director/producer, Shannon O'Rourke. 2002. 58 min.

Insidious Neighbors: The Soviet Threat

Reveals the ideology and crimes of the Soviet Communists, who, for example, in one year (1932-33) exterminated through hunger over seven million Ukrainians. It compares the ideologies of the two movements, Nazism and Communism, and shows how very similar they both were and how, at times, they actually worked together against common enemies. Shows the handiwork of the NKVD thugs in the eastern Poland, the Baltic States, the Ukraine and everywhere. Written and directed by Edvins Snore. English with Latvian subtitles; sometimes in Russian or Latvian without subtitles. 90 min.

Kino Eye (Kinoglaz) (1924)

Directed by Dziga Vertov. A collection of short excerpts from newsreels and documentary films of Soviet life in the early 1920s made by Vertov and his "Kino-Eye" group. PFA print (segments also featured in What Do Those Old Films Mean, ) Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
See also:

Kino-Pravda (1922)

Directed by Dziga Vertov. Excerpts from the second of the newsreel journal series which originally consisted of 23 issues produced from 1922-1925. Consists of a record of Soviet life edited into a unique genre of mixed documentary, animation and reviews and provides a record of the Revolution's social achievements. Kino-Pravda footage includes: Work on the reconstruction of the Moscow trolley system, Line No.


In Communist Russia many Russians who were considered enemies of the Communist government, were sent to concentration camps in Siberia. Through starvation, disease, random executions, subfreezing temperatures, over two million Russian citizens lost their lives in Siberian concentration camps. "Kolyma," in existence for 40 years, was the worst of these camps. This award winning documentary is based on eye witness testimony including interviews with former prisoners who worked in the Kolyma River Region during the Stalinist era.

Koryo Saram: The Unreliable People

Documentary on the Koryo Saram, Koreans living in the Soviet Union who were relocated to Kazakhstan by Stalin in 1937. Includes interviews with Koreans living in Kazakhstan about their current lives and their lives under the Soviet system, and shows the lives of the Koryo Saram living in Kazakhstan today. 2007. 60 min.

L'chayim, Comrade Stalin!

In 1928, Stalin created the world's first Jewish state in Siberia called the Jewish Autonomus Region (J.A.R.)where young idealists from many nations built a homeland rich in Jewish culture. By 1948, the Jewish population had peaked at 45,000. With Birobidzhan as its capital, it was home to Yiddish schools, theaters, publications and synagogues. This documentary features interviews with pioneer settlers, current residents, footage from Russian archives and scenes from the Soviet propaganda film, Seekers of happiness. 2000. 90 min.

Letters Not About Love.

A skillful and beautifully produced montage by filmmaker Jacki Ochs documenting the five-year letter correspondence between U.S. poet Lyn Hejinian and Ukranian writer Arkadii Dragomoshchenko. The two writers began a confessional relationship portrayed here by readings from their letters as visual images shot both in the United States and the former Soviet Union build upon one another to provide a cerebral and adept exploration of their personal histories and the language, culture and arts of both countries. 1998. 59 min.

Lifting the Yoke. (Blood and Belonging; 4)

This program examines the emotional effects of the establishment or re-establishment of an independent Ukraine and the tension between Russian settlers and native Ukrainians after the break up of the Soviet Union. It also looks at the potential for clashes between the Church and independence-minded nationalists and opinions on both sides on the imposition of the Ukrainian langauge. 1994. 50 min.