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Eastern Europe History & Politics


Filmmaker Sergei Dvortsevoy accompanies a small family circus through the steppes of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. The troupe presents their circus act to handfuls of villagers and other travelers, briefly transforming the barren landscape into an enchanted world. With the end of each performance, reality re-emerges as we follow the family through their everyday life. 1999. 52 min.

Hitler and Stalin: Twin Tyrants

This psychological dual biography exposes the chilling parallel and the glaring differences of these two powerful and bloodthirsty dictators. Features exceptional footage from film archives in Russia, Germany, East Europe, Great Britain and the USA including rare footage of Stalin's mother and of his funeral. 1999. 59 min.
web web sites:Description from Filmakers Library catalog

How I Worked Under Stalin, or, Songs of the Oligarch

Combines the testimony of eyewitnesses with rare archival photographs and film in an examination of the strong men who ran the Soviet state for Stalin. From Zhdanov, Andreyev, Krushchev, Malenkov and Suslov to Molotov, the documentary follows the bloody trail to Stalin's successor. Directed by Semen Aranovich. 1990. 67 min.

How Putin Came to Power .

In August 1999, Vladimir V. Putin, head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the KGB, was appointed Prime Minister. On December 31st of that year, Boris Yeltsin announced that Putin would succeed him as President of the Russian Federation. How Putin came to power traces the stunningly rapid ascension of this political unknown to leadership of the Kremlin as the result of a power struggle between factions of the country's ruling oligarchs and a behind-the-scenes political deal. 2005. 52 min.

Hungary: Pushing the Limits.

Shows Los Angeles builder Dezso Biczo, who fought in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, returning to his native Hungary in 1986 for the first time since the revolt. Through Biczo's eyes, the film examines the many changes which have occurred since he left and describes the economic reform which allows Hungary a better standard of living than other Eastern bloc nations. 1986. 60 min.

I Served in Stalin's Guard, an Experiment in Documentary Mythology (aka I was Stalin's Bodyguard)

This controversial documentary created a storm in Russia by taking off the cloak from a violent, repressive era in Soviet history. The filmmaker found the last surviving personal bodyguard of Josef Stalin, who began working for him in the 1930s. Weaves together unprecendented, first-hand testimony with rare footage, including Stalin's home movies. Directed by Semyon Aranovich. 1989. 73 min.

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.

Interview with Svetlana Slapsak and Zoran Mutic

The second segment is an interview with two writers; Bosnian author, Zoran Mutic, and Serbian author Svetlana Slapsak, on their views of the ethnic turmoil in Sarajevo. Segment from the television program Rights & wrongs broadcast August 25, 1993. 27 min.