The Soviet Story (2008)
by Edvins Snore
"Soviet Story is the most powerful antidote yet to the sanitisation of the past. The film is gripping, audacious and uncompromising." - The Economist
This is a story of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale. Assisted by the West, this power triumphed on May 9th, 1945. Its crimes were made taboo, and the complete story of Europe’s most murderous regime has never been told. Until now… The film tells the story of the Soviet regime and how the Soviet Union helped Nazi Germany instigate the Holocaust. The film shows recently uncovered archive documents revealing this. Interviews with former Soviet Military intelligence officials reveal shocking details:
- The Great Famine in Ukraine (1932/33)
- The Katyn massacre (1940)
- The SS-KGB partnership
- Soviet mass deportations
- Medical experiments in the GULAG.
These are just a few of the subjects covered in the film. 'The Soviet Story' also discusses the impact of the Soviet legacy on modern day Europe. Listen to experts and European MPs discussing the implications of a selective attitude towards mass murder; and meet a woman describing the burial of her new born son in a GULAG concentration camp. The Soviet Story is a story of pain, injustice and realpolitik.
'The Soviet Story' sparked an international row immediately after its premiere to the European Parliament in April 2008. The state-controlled Russian media immediately launched a massive propaganda campaign to denounce the film and its director. Russia’s leading newspapers, such as Pravda, Izvestia, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, etc., all simultaneously published articles criticizing the contents of the film, even though 'The Soviet Story' had not yet been commercially released:
This resulted in absurd accusations and hysteria, during which the Russian historians who took part in the film (e.g. Lebedeva, Slutch, etc.), were persecuted and demanded either to publically deplore their participation in the documentary or face the prospect of losing their positions in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The Orwellian-style witch-hunt reached its peak when the Russian historian Roginsky (Memorial association) was forced to publically regret his participation in the film, even though he could not recall taking part in it. No wonder - because he did not even take part in the film!
The pro-Kremlin Youth organization ‘Young Russia’ also organized furious protests against 'The Soviet Story' outside the Latvian Embassy in Moscow. ‘Young Russia’s leader Russian MP Maxim Miscenko (image to the right) explained that his organization was protesting against a book [!] 'The Soviet Story'. The fact is 'The Soviet Story' is a film, and not a book.
In the Midia
Le Figaro: "Documentary created by the is an impressive recapitulation of the Communist mass crimes. Latvian Edvins Snore
The Economist: "Mr Snore and his sponsors ithe European Parliament have produced a sharply provocative work. [...] But those who want to ban it should try refuting it first."
Tue Steen Müller, ex-director of European Documentary Network: "It’s a film you can not escape from [...] It's a film that is for public and global TV channels."
TheParliament.com: "The Soviet Story’ brings us closer to the truth about the tragic events of the 20th century."
European Voice: Russians are infuriated by a Latvian film which revals the extent of Nazi and Soviet collaboration.”
Hospodarske noviny: Snore's film is sharp and polemic. The film proves the Soviet and Nazi collaboration collaboration at the outbreak of the Second World War.”
Neatkariga: The young Latvian filmmaker E.Snore had gathered together renowned experts from all over Europe. It is convincing.”
Film Festivals and Awards
The film has been screened in the following film festivals:
* 2008 Boston Film Festival, USA – "The Soviet Story" received the “ Mass Impact Award”
* 2008 KinoLev Film Festival - Lviv, Ukraine
* 2008 Black Nights Film Festival – Tallinn, Estonia
* 2008 Arsenals Film Festival - Riga, Latvia
* 2008 Promitey Film Festival - Tbilisi, Georgia
* 2008 Baltic Film Festival – Berlin, Germany
* 2009 Sedona International Film Festival – Sedona, Arizona, USA
* 2009 Mene Tekel festival - Prague, Czech Republic
* 2009 Politicsonfilm Film Festival - Washington, USA
In 2009 the film has been nominated for the biannual Latvian National Film Award Lielais Kristaps in the "Best Documentary" category.
In 2008 the President of Latvia, Valdis Zatlers awarded the director of the film, Edvins Snore with the Order of the Three Stars.
In 2009 Edvins Snore for creating the film "The Soviet Story" received the Estonian Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana