After the première showing in 2008, the film’s writer/director’s effigy was burnt on the Streets of Moscow.
It is obvious that Edvins Snore, the young Latvian writer/director of “The Soviet Story”, touched Moscow on its most tender spot – the intimately close connections and willing collaboration between the Nazi and Soviet systems and regimes.
No previous film has documented so starkly the practical military aspects of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact: in their attack on Poland: German bombers were guided to their targets in Poland by Soviet radio transmitters; the German navy had military back-up from Soviet naval bases in Murmansk during the Nazi attack on Norway; a written agreement was struck between the Gestapo and NKVD, whereby the USSR accepts expert assistance in “dealing with the Jewish population”; the Gestapo also benefited from training received by the NKVD. Film footage shows that the collaboration was enthusiastically conceived and executed.
Obviously Russian historians tread on very thin academic ice in defending the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The agreement’s apologists are also very vulnerable when confronted with the close ideological relationship between Soviet Marxism and Nazism.
“The Soviet Story” presents observations that make Moscow squirm – the philosophical and political similarities between Nazism and Communism that one can effortlessly identify: “Nazism was based on false biology, Marxism was based on false sociology”; the Marxist’s ‘new man’ was the Nazi’s ‘racially pure man’; Josef Göbbels said that Lenin was second only to Hitler in greatness; Vyacheslav Molotov, the USSR’s foreign minister in 1940 said that fighting Nazism was a crime and the Kremlin urged communist parties of western Europe to sabotage anti-Nazi resistance.
The film also covers Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930’s, the Great Famine, Katyn Massacre, medical experiments in the Gulag, killings and deportations in the Baltics and more. In many instances, individuals with first hand knowledge of events are featured.
“The Soviet Story” was filmed over two years in Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, France, Germany, UK and Belgium. Snore, the author collected material for the film over 10 years. Some of Snore’s film footage and archival documents have never before been used. These include photographs by Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer and film footage of the Soviets helping Hitler launch the Second World War by providing aid for the Nazi blitzkrieg.
Over 20 experts – leasing historians, members of the European Parliament, ex-KGB officials, Soviet military intelligence personnel, Soviet dissidents, victims of the Famine-Genocide, deportations and other Soviet crimes give their personal accounts of the events and times covered.
A connection with Estonia catches the Moscow propaganda machine in an embarrassing fumble. In reporting a false claim about the film, the Russian State News Agency, RIA Novosti claimed that the “film shows the alleged victims of Stalinist repression: the corpses piled in stacks and covered with logs. In fact these photographs were taken by the Soviets in 1944 and represent the victims of the Nazi atrocities in Klooga concentration camp in Klooga, Estonia and in Yanovskaya camp near Lvov, Ukraine”. Actually the alleged scene from the Klooga concentration camp does not appear anywhere in the film. The film uses no pictures taken at Klooga.
The film was sponsored by some members of the European Parliament. Screening organized by the Estonian Consulate General, Estonian Central Council in Canada, Wednesday, February 24, 2010, Toronto Estonian House, 1:00 pm. Admission free.
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