Documentary Film “Red Empire” in Aarti

WWhile his forces bombarded Severodonetsk, the Russian president visited the Peter the Great Exhibition in Moscow in June. After that, Vladimir Putin declared that Tsar Peter did not “confiscate” anything, but rather “restored” what historically belonged to Russia from Sweden. Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has not only commented on the transparent sign with the words that Putin wants to “create an empire”. The president himself likes to predict “Greater Russia”. Even his famous statement “He who does not miss the Soviet Union is heartless; he who desires to return is meaningless” perhaps should never have been understood as a denial of such claims. But what exactly can be remembered as a success in a fatal forced society of totalitarian socialist republics?

amazing manifestation

It is not only in the Kremlin that turning back events is so enjoyable today. Also in Europe, also in Germany, some indulge in an amazing manifestation. That is why an unbiased documentary series like The Red Empire, which is entirely based on archival material, historical research and interviews with witnesses and contemporary historians, is so valuable. In three tightly told episodes, Jürgen Ast and Martin Hübner once again take a look at the deadly experiment of creating a new human – “Soviet Man,” as it has been ironically called since the 1960s. Despite some achievements in art, architecture, education (literacy), technology, and space travel, the Soviet imagination about collectivism appears as a frenetic frightening dream, as sliding from catastrophe to disaster: mass famines, mismanagement, corruption, denunciation, state terror, leader cult, Brutal wars, growing conflicts between regions, exploitation of territories in favor of megacities.


Hit: Soviet Soldiers in Afghanistan.
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Photo: Bilderwelt Gallery / MDR

Der Homo sovieticus, sagt denn auch der litauische Dichter Tomas Venclova im Film, habe keine positiven Eigenschaften, sondern zeichne sich durch „Passivität, Angst und Gehorsam” aus, außerdem durch: „i Xenoticbius hashn” he is. He sees enemies everywhere. Svetlana Alekseevich, Nobel laureate in literature, eloquently emphasizes the lack of freedom of the Soviet people: “It is a creature like a butterfly in cement. “Especially faith and patriotism.

Communism to Mars

It suits the filmmakers that the whole stage of the life of this conglomerate, which was formed in 1922 by the merger of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Transcaucasia and shamefully disappeared in December 1991, is documented in words and pictures. Apart from interview scenes, Ast and Hübner compiled the entire series from convincingly handpicked archival material. In addition to the suspended propaganda footage, there are daily scenes and catchy feature film excerpts, beginning with the technically stunning animated film Interplanetary Revolution, which promoted the endless expansion of communism to Mars as early as 1924. This pictorial approach does not give the rings The three is not only a wonderful moment, but also gives a high level of credibility.

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