mon 28/09/2020

Soviet Union

Blu-ray: Beanpole

Kantemir Balagov’s second feature announces the arrival of a major new talent in arthouse cinema. Made by the Russian director when he was just 27, and premiered at Cannes last year, where it won in the “Un Certain Regard” strand, Beanpole...

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Alex Halberstadt: Young Heroes of the Soviet Union review - a familial history of the twentieth century

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there has been a collective examination of its past, with Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich at the helm. Young Heroes of the Soviet Union looks back at the USSR through the lens of the personal, much like...

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Sophy Roberts: The Lost Pianos of Siberia review - a distant musical journey

For travellers, “music is a passport, especially in Russia…” Borrowing an adage from the British diplomat Thomas Preston, Sophy Roberts could be speaking about the eccentric quest that lies behind The Lost Pianos of Siberia. Preston, as consul in...

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Robert Service: Kremlin Winter review – behind Putin's masks

When U.S. president George W. Bush looked into the eyes of Vladimir Putin he famously “saw his soul”. In his latest meditation on modern Russia, Britain's top Kremlinologist Robert Service gets as close to the Russian president’s soul as may be...

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Book extract: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Between 1991 to 2012, Belorussian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich travelled the countries that constituted the former USSR conducting interviews with the “the little great people” who had lived under Soviet communism and witnessed...

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Book extract: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Between 1991 to 2012, Belorussian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich travelled the countries that constituted the former USSR conducting interviews with the “the little great people” who had lived under Soviet communism and witnessed...

Read more...

Book extract: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Between 1991 to 2012, Belorussian journalist and oral historian Svetlana Alexievich travelled the countries that constituted the former USSR conducting interviews with the “the little great people” who had lived under Soviet communism and witnessed...

Read more...

Meeting Gorbachev review - Werner Herzog offers a swansong tribute

You react differently to Meeting Gorbachev knowing that the film’s subject was on occasions brought to its interviews from hospital by ambulance; his interlocutor, Werner Herzog, doesn’t mention that fact, of course, anywhere in the three encounters...

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Classical CDs Weekly: Stewart Goodyear, Nielsen, Weinberg

 Stewart Goodyear: Callaloo, Piano Sonata; Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue Stewart Goodyear (piano), Chineke! Orchestra/Wayne Marshall (Orchid Classics)Callaloo is Stewart Goodyear’s indecently entertaining suite for piano and orchestra, the title...

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Svetlana Alexievich: Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories review - anything but childish

Svetlana Alexievich’s Last Witnesses: Unchildlike Stories is a collection of oral testimonies conducted between 1978-2004 with Soviet and post-Soviet citizens who were children during the second world war. They recount strange and terrible...

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Vasily Grossman: Stalingrad review - a Soviet national epic

Stalingrad is the companion piece to Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, which on its (re)publication in English a decade ago was acclaimed as one of the greatest Russian (and not only Russian) novels of the 20th century. For its sense of the sheer...

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Blu-ray: Khrustalyov, My Car!

The title of Khrustalyov, My Car! comes, infamously, from the words uttered by NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria as he departed the scene of Stalin’s death in March 1953, and Alexei German’s film comes as close as cinema can to dissecting the surreal terror...

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