Revealing Russia Series - 5 Video Series
Revealing Russia Series
Item#: 164
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Running Time: minutes
G 10-Adult
Marina Goldovskaya


"Exuberant and masterful filmmaking. A deceptively simple and spontaneous work which reveals the filmmakers wonderful intimacy with her subject matter and her strong command of the craft."
- San Francisco International Film Festival

"Recommended.... A good film about the changing cultural and political perceptions of the Russian people...."
- Video Librarian

"First-rate film journalism of historical importance....Solovky Power is so good that it leaves the audience wanting to know more...."
- Vincent Canby, New York Times

"Haunting....Goldovskaya brings to life what it must have been like to be a prisoner in Solovky."
- Hollywood Reporter

"An astonishing documentary...chilling."
- San Francisco Chronicle


- Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival
- Prix Italia, Rome Film Festival
- Planet Award, Marseilles Film Festival
- Prix Europa, T.V. Program of the Year
- Grand Prix, Monte Carlo
- Film of the Year, Earthwatch
- Best Picture Prize, National State Film Festival, Moscow


- Aired on Turner Network Television


- Sundance Film Festival
- Telluride Film Festival
- San Francisco International Film Festival
The Revealing Russia series features 5 films by renowned filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya. In these films, Goldovskaya provides a human look at both the horrors of the Soviet past,and the hopes and struggles of Russians as the Soviet Union and Communist rule neared its 74 year end. Through Goldovskaya's films we see history through the stories of its people.

"Her portraits of Russian life, of Soviet history and of herself are lucid creations that make us want to see more. This is documentary filmmaking at its most emotionally invigorating and intellectually stimulating."
-UCLA Television and Film Archives

Video 1
The Shattered Mirror
, 58 min.
This film is an extraordinary personal journey through ordinary Russian life at a time of great change. The filmmaker uses her own camera and familiarity with Russian society to present an intimate and piercing view of her fellow citizens and her country.

At a fast-moving pace, we meet her friends and acquaintances, from the simple laborer to a newly rich entrepreneur. The filmmaker turns the camera on her own life as well, providing deeply personal revelations, through scenes of her own wedding and of her mother's death. While filming a tense street confrontation between opposing political forces, she remarks through her tears, "I am shooting and crying!" The Shattered Mirror is a remarkable look at the new life, opportunities and challenges the people of Russia face.

Video 2
Lucky to be Born in Russia
, 58 min.
Marina Goldvskaya's newest film, a sequel to Shattered Mirror, relates the human story behind the October 1993 armed confrontation in Moscow, when the future of the Russian nation hung in the balance.

Rather than chronicle political events, Goldvskaya uses her personal style of filmmaking to take the viewer deep into the "inner life" of Russian society during this extraordinary period. We visit and watch with many of her friends and acquaintances as the momentous events unfold. Unable to remain inside while violent confrontations rage, Goldvskaya boldly takes her camera into the streets to film dramatic street demonstrations and the attempted rebel seizure of a television station where she worked for many years.

But the film is more than the story of this confrontation of political forces. It is the story of a nation searching for a new way, a moral center, as it moves rapidly towards an unknown future, creating great pain and social division. Yet, as the title reflects, Goldvskaya's view remains a hopeful one.

Video 3
The House with Knights (House on Arbat Street)
, 58 min.
The story of the people who lived in the House with Knights is the story of Russia in the 20th Century. Built in the early 1900's, this grand apartment building on Arbat Street at first was the residence of rich and privileged families. Then, after the revolution of 1917, it was turned into a collective housing unit. People from all backgrounds were brought in and told, "From now on you will have to cram together."

Through historical footage and the reminiscences of former residents, some now 98 years old, the incredible story of the House with Knights comes alive. One resident describes how "every day you could hear doors banging: they had come to arrest someone." Another muses, "Today I am sure of nothing. There was so much hypocrisy and lying that everything I thought to be good was perhaps no more than an illusion. The only truly real thing was the people." The narrator remarks: "For 70 years all of Russia was like this building - a strange family indeed."

Video 4
A Taste of Freedom
, 46 min.
A Taste of Freedom follows six weeks in the lives of Sasha and Anya Politkovsky, whose daily existence reflects the turmoil and uncertainty of the time. Sasha is a prominent TV journalist who tests the limits of the new freedom afforded Russian reporters. Anya is deeply concerned for Sasha's safety. At one point she has not heard from him for three days after he goes off to cover the riots in Baku. Later, she sees him on TV, one of the first journalists to interview people living in the shadow of the Chernobyl disaster.

As the film evolves, Anya expresses concerns about their marriage and the world their children will inherit. One man ominously remarks, "If this process which we call perestroika collapses - and I'm sure it will - then a guillotine will start chopping peoples heads off." As the film ends, Sasha and Anya, both frightened and exhilarated, wade together into a sea of Soviet citizens marching for a new order.

Video 5
Solovky Power
, 87 min.
Solovky Power is a harrowing documentary about the first Soviet prison camp, established in a 15th Century monastery on a remote White Sea island in 1923. The camp became the model for the dreaded gulags that followed.

Solovky operated under the Leninist motto: "With an iron hand, mankind will be driven to happiness." In the film, aging survivors of the prison camp offer a devastating account of the brutality and injustice prisoners endured. One survivor recalls how 300 inmates were shot and thrown into a pit one day, simply as a warning to the other prisoners. Old newsreels and recently discovered letters from prisoners further illustrate the bleak conditions.