2014 Film Presentations

In The Wake of Stalin

Directed by Thomas Johnson

Stalin is still seen in Russia as one of the most important historical figures. His spirit is still pervasive in Russia’s contemporary political life: the killing of millions has not been condemned yet, the idea of “Great Russia” and rejection of the West is still popular. Another dimension of Stalin’s cult persistence is that school history books minimize the gulags and the personality cult of Stalin is reflected in the PR of current Russian President Putin.

Thomas Johnson tells us that the Stalin’s terror has been covered up by collective amnesia. His film is set on historical images, archives and discussions with experts and survivors of repressions. The recent events such as the condemnation of the band Pussy Riot and the repressions against the democracy defenders show that the Stalin’s myth is still alive. One of the interviewed experts notes that the nostalgic attitude vis-à-vis the Stalin’s regime and the Great Patriotic War is determined by the lack of stability in contemporary Russia.

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