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The Red Soul

A film by Jessica Gorter

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Note: DVDs will be ready to ship by March 2018.

"The Red Empire is gone, but the 'Red Man' remains. He endures." —Svetlana Alexievich (Nobel Prize for Literature, 2015)

Why do so many Russians still defend Joseph Stalin as a great leader and a hero? Is Stalin a hero who led the Soviet Union to victory, or should he be held responsible for the millions of victims who died during his reign?

The Red Soul lays bare the Russian psyche of today and shows a world full of contradictions. In a country where hardly any family escaped the hunger, fear and violence resulting from Stalin’s reign of terror, no one has ever been convicted for the crimes committed under his regime. Even now, more than 50 years after Stalin’s death, Russians remain deeply divided over how to deal with the memories of this painful past.

In a mosaic of intimate portraits, ordinary Russians—both young and old—speak openly about their traumas, rooted in a violent history. Tales of pain alternate with tales of pride. Nostalgic stories of a state flourishing under the Communist ideal contrast with painful memories of hunger, violence and betrayal. Not infrequently, these conflicting views can be found in one and the same person. Gradually, this intriguing film exposes how the Soviet past lives on in current generations, and thus makes its mark on the future.

"Winning combination of topicality and artistic quality … Sensitively examines the palette of clashing colors along Russia's political spectrum."Hollywood Reporter

"Nearly 65 years after the death of Joseph Stalin, director/co-writer Jessica Gorter asks citizen of the Russian Federation the question if Stalin was a tyrant or a saviour. The response is illuminating, sad and relevant." —Filmuforia

"In a mosaic of intimate portraits, ordinary Russians, both young and old, speak openly about their traumas, rooted in a violent history."Cineuropa

The films not about Stalins terror, but about the way Russians deal with it today. Just like Gorter's 900 DAYS is not about the starvation of the German starvation siege of Leningrad, but about the memories of it." Filmkrant

World Premiere, 2017 IDFA
Official Selection, 2017 ArtDocFest Moscow

90 minutes / Color/B&W
Russian / English subtitles
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2017

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Communism, History, History (Cold War Era), Historiography, Politics, Russia, Soviet Union, Stalin

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