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Eastern Europe History & Politics

No Man's Land: The Great War. (Century: Events that Shaped the World; 5.)

The optimism that fueled the early years of the 20th century vanished as America was drawn into "The war to end all wars." This program presents, through archival footage and first person accounts, the grim story of World War I--including the sinking of the Lusitania and the Bolshevik revolution, which led to Russia's withdrawal from the conflict--and the fruitless struggles of President Wilson, Who sought first to keep America out of the war and then, at its end, to forge a lasting and meaningful peace. 42 min.

Nothing to Lose.

Interview with Lech Walesa and discussion of the Polish Solidarity Movement. 58 min.

Old Believers (Staroverci)

Shot over a period of five years, documents the life of a strongly religious community living in the Danube Delta. Time seems to have stopped in this forsaken Romanian village where the Russian emigrants of a minority faith settled during the 17th century. Their descendants were able to preserve not only their original beliefs but also their language while remaining faithful to their ancient rites and customs. A specific, almost meditative rhythm in this place gives a transcendental significance to even the most ordinary everyday tasks. Written and directed by Jana Sevcikova. 2001.

Orange Revolution

The Orange Revolution was a series of protests and political events that took place in the Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was compromised by massive corruption, voter intimidation and direct electoral fraud.

Orange Winter

In November 2004 the people of Kiev, Ukraine, took to the streets in thousands, protesting the official results of the Election Committee, after a rigged presidential election. The traditionally silent country erupted: protesting against the corrupted regime of the current president, his appointed "heir" and pressure from neighboring Russia. That was the beginning of the Orange Revolution. This documentary chronicles these crucial days in the history of the country and reflects on the fate of the nation. Directed and edited by Andrei Zagdansky. 72 min. 2006.

People of Influence: Politics and the People. (The Russians Series).

Shows how the lives of working Russians are governed by the director, the trade union chairman, and the party secretary in any enterprise. Visits a coal mine in the Ukraine, a refrigerator factory in Minsk, and a washing enterprise in Siberia to point out the intertwining of work and private lives. 1979. 30 min.

People of the Cities: Urban Life. (The Russians Series).

Shows a trolley bus driver in Moscow, a brigadier of a gang of dock workers in Odessa, and a doctor and his family in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in their day-to-day lives in cities in the Soviet Union. Also examines more about the urban structure of Russian cities. 1979. 33 min.

People of the Country: Rural Collectivism. (The Russians Series).

Visits a collective farm in Kuban cossack country and Byelorussia in the Soviet Union, showing attempts to industrialize agriculture and to tame Siberia, the new frontier. Visits a collective farm in Kuban cossack country and Byelorussia in the Soviet Union, showing attempts to industrialize agriculture and to tame Siberia, the new frontier. 1979. 30 min.

People Power, 1989 (People's Century).

In 1991, the Communist Party lost control of the Soviet Union, the culmination of a process that started in 1980 in the Polish shipyards when millions joined Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement which signaled the beginning of the end for Soviet-style communism. Here eyewitnesses tell the story of how the Communist system collapsed as they remember the extraordinary weeks that preceded and followed the fall of the Berlin Wall; Poland's fight for solidarity; Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution;" the struggle for power in the Soviet Union and more. 1998. 56 min.

Picture Me an Enemy.

Told through the intimate stories of Natasa, a Serbo-Croat, and Tahija, a Bosnian Muslim, this documentary puts a human face on the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Though they are from opposite sides of the conflict, these young women speak a common truth about how those in power used religion, ethnicity and nationality to construct the "enemy." They reach beyond their national identities to address universal questions of conflict, peace and forgiveness.