Анатолий Рыбаков.Послесловие/ Anatoly Rybakov. The Russian Story and Три песни о родине,/Three Songs about Motherland

Language: In Russian with English subtitles

The Russian Story profiles Anatoly Rybakov , a best-selling Russian novelist. His personal life follows Russia in the XXth century, a country destroyed in Stalinist purges and in the battlefields of World War II. With Perestroika the calamities seem to have ended. Or have they?

The film is structured around three major themes:

Stalinist purges and the Second World War, the Holocaust and the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union, and the destiny and future of Russia.

In The Children of the Arbat , first published in 1987 at the outset of Perestroika , Rybakov examines the enormous human cost the Soviet Union paid in the XXth century. The book became a symbol for freedom and openness and made possible a public debate about Stalinist crimes.

Heavy Sand talks about the horrors of the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazis in the Soviet Union. It opened a public debate about the Jewish question in a thoroughly anti-Semitic Soviet State. It broke the taboo for the first time mentioning the historic figure of 6 million Jews, who perished in the Holocaust.

In The Memoirs Rybakov draws conclusions from his life in the Soviet Union making the sad point that human life has lost its value in todayÕs Russia.

Yet, after decades of persecution and stagnation, life goes on. Will Russia resurrect itself from the ashes of the Stalinist state? Will the new generation build a new life? Rybakov poses these questions as a great writer who cares for his country and his people.

52 minutes, 2006

Credits

  • Director, Writer and Cinematographer; MARINA GOLDOVSKAYA
  • Producer; OLEG MOGUCHEV
  • Editor and Writer; DANIEL LEVIN
  • Composer; MARINA KALANTAROVA
  • Sound Design; BRUCE HANIFAN, MICHAIL VOROBIEV

THREE SONGS ABOUT MOTHERLAND depicts a dramatic collision between the past, the present, and the future in contemporary Russia by focusing on three different cities in this vast land. In the far eastern City of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a still-living symbol of Soviet industrialization in the 1930s, older Russian citizens speak about their youth, when they felt part of something bigger than themselves: building “a city of communist dreams” in the middle of nowhere. Some cling to the promise of those glory days while others, express regret and disappointment at its ultimate failure.

Then, the cosmopolitan city of Moscow bids farewell to Anna Politkovskaya, the fearless journalist and human rights activist who was assassinated for her political activity amid the chaotic power struggles of the post-Soviet nation, fighting to her death for a young Russian democracy.

Finally, residents of Khanty-Mansijsk, one of the main centers of Siberia’s budding oil industry, speak about their beloved fairy tale-like town, where the communist dream has been swept away by new aspirations for a prosperous future. And what are they, today's aspirations? What is behind the fairy tale? Will the new "capitalist dream" come true, or will it turn out to be another illusion, another myth? In the words of the Great Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev, "We are not destined to foretell".

During the course of the film, three songs performed by contemporary singer Elena Kamburova serve as a leitmotif which unites these three separate stories into one cohesive whole: A frank and vibrant picture of Russia today.

39 minutes, 2008

Credits

  • Director, Writer and Cinematographer; MARINA GOLDOVSKAYA
  • Producer; TATYANA ALEXANDROVA
  • Co-Producer; GEORGE HERZFELD
  • Editor and Writer; DANIEL LEVIN
  • Original Music/Composer; YELENA KAMBUROVA

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