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25 Lectures on the Balkans

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because these are twenty-five quality lectures on Balkan history which were written by Steven Sowards of Michigan State University. They end in the year 1995, just about the time that the Dayton Accords ended the civil war in Bosnia, but several years before the NATO attack on Yugoslavia in response to Serbian/Albanian strife in Kosovo. Start by looking at the hyper-linked Table of Contents which gives a list and description of each of the twenty-five lectures. Be aware of the fact that the lectures are quite detailed and were designed for college level students. This site also contains maps and Internet links to sources of news on and from the Balkans.

A Force More Powerful: Poland

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it tells the story of how nonviolent power overcame oppression and authoritarian rule in Poland. In August 1980, workers at the Gdansk shipyard went on strike. Their main demand, free trade unions, was unprecedented in a country where communist party supremacy did not allow the existence of any independent organizations. Lech Walesa, a wily 37-year-old electrician, was the chief negotiator for the workers, who avoided the mistakes of earlier strikes by maintaining strict nonviolent discipline — and by occupying their shipyard, to deter a violent crackdown by authorities. The strike quickly spread to factories and workers throughout the country, magnifying their leverage. Their persistence paid off as government granted most of their demands. A new union was born named “Solidarity” (31 minutes). Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), but apprarently out of print.

Media Type: Media

A Life Like Mine

Posted by: globaledadmin on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Life Like Mine tells the story of how children live around the world through four themes:  survival, development, protection, participation.  Excellent images and text suitable for upper elementary and middle school students. Truly has a global perspective. Includes many visuals and maps.

Is is published by UNICEF.

Media Type: Book

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A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because A Life Like Mine records the courage, energy, joy, and optimism of children from all over the world. SOme of the children in the book enjoy every privilege in their lives; others have been deprived of some of their basic rights. This book presents the look of the children around the world.

Citation: UNICEF New York: DK publishing. 2002.

Media Type: Book

A Month in the Life of Ephtim D. (1999)

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Recommended because this documentary takes a rare and intimate look at the life of Ephtim D., a 73-year-old pensioner and lifetime Communist living in Bulgaria following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. We follow Ephtim D. from the meager dinner table where he and his wife dine, to the park where he walks his dog and meets his friends, who still attend Socialist party meetings in Sofia and reminisce about the “good old days” under communism. Bulgarian with English subtitles and narration (56 minutes). Available for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $195.

Media Type: Media

Access Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Access Russia offers a wide variety of Russia-related items including books, CDs, videos, as well as Russian language educational software and cultural items for gifts or teaching. Based in Sacramento, California. Be aware of the fact that at present (August 2004), Access Russia is only selling videos, but presumably will be offering its full line of products soon.

After the Ball by Leo Tolstoy

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Recommended because this is a lesson plan focusing on the role of chance in our lives, using the short story by Tolstoy as its point of departure. Be aware of the fact that the lesson plan does not contain the text of the short story, but it can be found in the Penguin Classics edition of “Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories,” David McDuff, translator (1986), among other places.

Akhmatova, Anna (1971)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this documentary video provides various perspectives on Anna Akhmatova (1888-1966), Russian poet adored by her countrymen and called by them “the soul of our time.” Her life and work bridged the country’s Tsarist and Revolutionary periods. Refusing to lend her prestige to Stalin’s rule, she was expelled from the Soviet Writers’ Union and for years suffered desperately. This program presents an overview of her life and work by Irene Moore, a founder of the American Stanislavsky Theater, who recites Akhmatova’s poetry in Russian; and two academics who have written extensively on Akhmatova: Samuel Driver, professor at Brown University, and Irene Kirk, professor at the University of Connecticut. Also featured are many photographs of Akhmatova and her world. Kirk, one of the last Westerners to see the poet alive, tells of their meeting and of Akhmatova’s secret book in her Moscow library where she kept notes of things she wanted to remember (28 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $90.

Media Type: Media

Aleksandr Nevsky (1938)

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Recommended because this is a historical drama of thirteenth-century Russian prince Alexander who lived peacefully under Mongol occupation, but led the fight against the invading Teutonic Knights at the Battle on the Ice. A powerful film, both for its historic and cultural value. Highly recommended. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein (black & white, 107 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: In Love with Mother Russia

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Recommended because this is a video biography of the Russian writer. “I could not have invented my life better than it invented itself …. All I had to do was take possession of it to write about it.” So says Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Laureate who has lived the terrible hardships of his landmark novels. In this gripping program, key figures such as Andrei Vassilievsky, the editor of Novy Mir; Nikita Struve, the first publisher of The Gulag Archipelago; and Solzhenitsyn himself, in a rare interview, discuss the events that have both stimulated and shaped a perilous lifetime of writing. Extracts from Archipelago and The Oak and the Calf drive home the harsh realities of life in the U.S.S.R. during the Stalin and Brezhnev regimes (49 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $150.

Media Type: Media

All About Bulgaria

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a very good FAQ (frequently asked questions) sheet about Bulgaria. It is maintained by Dragomir R. Radev (radev@cs.columbia.edu). Topics and materials included in this large and comprehensive site are language and literature, art, cuisine, politics and other sports, history, travel, and connectivity. Also includes links to other Bulgarian resources, including mailing lists and a poetry archive. Be aware of the fact that this website apparently has not been updated since the year 2000, so it has limited value for information on current events.

All Friends Here (Sami Swoi) (1967)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is the first in the trilogy of the most popular Polish film comedies: the adventures of two families, the Pawlaks and the Karguls (the other two films are “Take It Easy” and “Big Deal”). This film is set just after World War Two when the Pawlaks and the Karguls have moved from their poor little village in the eastern borderland of Poland to the Western Regained Territories. There they settle as neighbors, only to carry on the longstanding dispute they had while living in eastern Poland. The controversy had begun 40 years earlier when Kargul’s cow strayed into Pawlak’s field. Although they could make peace and work together in moments of common danger, these reconciliations never could be sustained — until their children grew up and fell in love with each other. Directed by Sylwester Checinski (78 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $40.

Media Type: Media

Alliance or Compliance? Analyzing Power Relationships Inside and Outside Afghanistan

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson (designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12) asks important questions about the US involvement in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. Be aware that this lesson plan asks students to think critically about US involvement in Afghanistan, especially its collaboration witht the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The authors of the lesson plan clearly see US involvement in Afghanistan as part of a pattern in history of the US government allying with dictatorial regimes in order to combat other regimes that are seen as a bigger threat to American interests. The primary source material included in this site is a New York Times article entitled, “Alliance of Convenience.” Produced by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002, updated July 2003. Start by reading the primary source material for this lesson which is a New York Times article entitled, “Alliance of Convenience.”Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan asks students to think critically about US involvement in Afghanistan, especially its collaboration with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The authors of the lesson plan clearly see US involvement in Afghanistan as part of a pattern in history of the US government allying with dictatorial regimes in order to combat other regimes that are seen as a bigger threat to American interests. Produced by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001.

Amnesty International: Annual Report 2004

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this website gives separate reports on human rights violations for each of the Central Asian states. Just look for each listed in alphabetical order in the drop down box to the left side of the screen below “List of Countries.” All of the other countries of the world are listed here as well. Start by going to the Central Asia overview for a general picture of human rights abuses in the region. Be aware of the fact that in Central Asia, human rights violations include unfair elections, repression of political opponents and religious groups, torture and other bad conditions in prisons, etc. This is not surprising given the fact that democracy and basic human rights have yet to arrive in most of Central Asia, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union more than ten years ago. Also, the post-9/11 “War on Terror” is being used by some governments in the region to crack down on dissidents.

An Anthology of Russian Literature from Earliest Writings to Modern Fiction : Introduction to a Culture

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a collection of some of the most important works in Russian literature. Arrangement of the selections is chronological and each section places the literary works in their historical context and notes later cultural resonances. Following each text is an introductory guide to primary and secondary sources, including available aesthetic transformations of the work, its subjects, and its motifs in film, video, musical recordings, and art collections. These listings helpfully emphasize Russian rather than non-Russian responses in the arts (e.g. Sergei Bondarchuk’s film adaptation of War and Peace rather than the American version). Professor Rzhevsky is in the Russian department at SUNY, Stony Brook. Available from Amazon.com for $40. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, May 2002, updated 2003.

Citation: Nicholas Rzhevsky (Editor), M.E. Sharpe (1997)

Media Type: Book

An Introduction to Russian Literature (1975, 56 minutes)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this video examines Russian history from the early nineteenth century to the present through the eyes of some of its major writers, including Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Pasternak, Blok, Akhmatova, and Solzhenitsyn. Availibility: May be borrowed free of charge from Indiana University’s Russian and East European Studies Institute.

Media Type: Media

An Unforgettable Summer (1994)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a rare feature film about Romania. From the director of the acclaimed THE OAK comes this unconventional love story set against a background of political confusion. Kristin Scott-Thomas is Marie-Therese, the young woman sent to a remote military outpost with her army officer husband and their children. She tries in vain to establish a genteel, civilized presence in this backward region. Ultimately she and her husband are thrown into conflict as he is ordered by his superiors to execute a local group of bandits that may or may not be guilty. Directed by Lucian Pintilie, stars Kristin Scott-Thomas (82 minutes). In Romanian with English subtitles. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (tel: 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Andrei Rublev (Strasti po Andreiu) (1966)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because set during the Mongol domination of Russia, this film is director Andrei Tarkovsky’s critically acclaimed biography of the 15th century Russian monk and icon painter. Despite the poor technical quality of the film, it is recommended because many critics consider this movie to one of the ten best of all time (black & white with color sequence, 185 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Anna (1994)

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Recommended because it combines feature film and documentary in covering the late Soviet period. After filming his daughter Anna over the course of 13 years, director Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) incorporated that footage with news reports and propaganda films that charted the collapse of the Soviet Union. The result is this intimate, emotionally charged documentary that shows how personal and political life are forever intertwined (99 min). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Anton Chekhov (1860–1904): An Index to Online Great Books in English Translation

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website is a source for complete online texts of several of Chekhov’s works: “Black Monk,” “Sleepy-Eye,” “The Party,” “The Grasshopper,” and “Mire.”Start by finding Chekhov on the list of C-writers. Be aware of the fact that this is part of the Great Books Index, which also features the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.

Baba Yaga

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because This lesson plan dealing with the Russian folktale Baba Yaga is recommended for students grade 2-4. Be aware of the fact that the text of Baba Yaga is not included here, but the site does give the list of several books and anthologies where that folktale can be found. Part of the larger “Educator’s Reference Desk” website.

Back to Chernobyl (1989)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because although it is somewhat dated now, this video is still a high-quality documentary investigating the adverse health effects of history’s worst nuclear power plant accident three years after it occurred on April 26, 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine, USSR. Also shown is footage of the disaster itself. Produced by NOVA and PBS (60 minutes), may be borrowed from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies, apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Battleship Potemkin (Bronenosets Potemkin) (1925)

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Recommended because this is a classic early Soviet film which commemorates a mutiny aboard a Russian warship anchored at Odessa, Russia, during the Revolution of 1905. Great for getting a sense of the Soviet perspective on 1905, the precursor to the successful communist revolution in 1917. As a bonus, the “Odessa Steps” scene is one of the most widely discussed sequences in film history. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein (black & white, 66 minutes). Silent with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Before Gorbachev: From Stalin to Brezhnev (1977)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this film, which was made in the Soviet Union in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution, documents the history of the USSR for those 60 years, emphasizing progress and the success of the communist system. Recommended as a crash course in 20th century Russian history from a Soviet point of view (50 minutes). Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), but is apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Before the Rain (1994)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a remarkable film that shows both the beauty of Macedonia and the violence and hatred that exists between its ethnic Macedonian and Albanian peoples. In a monastery in Macedonia, a young man must abandon his vow of silence to save a girl from a mob. In London, a woman, torn between a loveless marriage and a passionate affair with a war photographer finds fate dictates a choice she could not make on her own. And in Yugoslavia, the photographer returns to a nation divided by religious hatred and violence. His effort to salvage some small portion of peace will have an impact no one could foresee, and bring all three stories full circle. Directed by Milcho Manchevski (112 minutes). In Macedonian with English subtitles. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (tel: 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), but is apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Belgrade Ancient and New: Its History, Art, and Architecture (1992)

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Recommended because this is a documentary focusing on the capital city of Serbia. Produced by Donya Schimansky, narrated by Mary Gaydos. In English. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (tel: 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), but is apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Belgrade Radio B92

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because the English-language site of B92 radio is an important independent media outlet in Serbia. Start by going to the “Main Stories” section. Be aware of the fact that this site includes Real Audio, frequent updates, and some streaming video. Originally reviewed by Jason Vuic.

Bellona Foundation

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is an unmatched source of information on nuclear waste and radioactive pollution in Russia and the former Soviet Union. One large source of nuclear contamination, for example, is the rusting atomic submarines of the Russian navy at anchor in the Arctic Ocean. A very large website with a wealth of information on nuclear contamination. Start by clicking on the About Bellona button in the upper left hand corner of the website to learn what this environmental organization is all about.

Beyond the Pale: The History of Jews in Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because of its comprehensive approach to this subject. Topics in this website include not only a detailed history of Jews in Russia (including the Holocaust and the Soviet purges) from the late eighteenth century to the present, but also the roots of anti-Semitism in European history. This is an extremely professional production with dozens of high-quality photographs to complement the narratives. Start by looking at the “Exhibit Guide.”Be aware of the fact that this website has both an English and Russian language version.

Big Deal (Kochaj Albo Rzuc) (1978)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is the third in the comedy trilogy of the Pawlak and Kargul families’ saga (the other two films are “All Friends Here” and “Take It Easy”). In this film, Pawlak and Kargul travel to the United States on the invitation of Pawlak’s brother. Many humorous situations develop as the Polish pair encounters the strange customs of life in America (great for seeing how Poles view the US!). Directed by Sylwester Checinski (112 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $40.

Media Type: Media

Borderland : A Journey Through the History of Ukraine (2000)

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Recommended because this book is not just a history of Ukraine, it is also about Ukraine today–its politics, economy, culture, and how its history has shaped all of them. Former Kiev correspondent for The Economist Anna Reid has produced an engaging and useful introduction to the very complex nation of Ukraine. Available through Amazon.com for $11.90.

Citation: Anna Reid, Westview Press

Media Type: Book

Bosnia: Peace Without Honor (1995)

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Recommended because this program traces the roots of the Bosnian conflict through the 1992-1995 efforts of America’s Cyrus Vance and Britain’s David Owen to negotiate a lasting peace. Both diplomats expose the role of world powers in brokering, mediating, and at times exacerbating the regional conflict. Owen attributes failures to establish an equitable regional government to the election of Bill Clinton and the resulting American foreign policy shifts, particularly the placement of UN troops in strategic Serbian sites. A BBC Production (40 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (tel: 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $100.

Media Type: Media

BRAMA: Gateway Ukraine

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because BRAMA — Gateway Ukraine is a comprehensive search engine with categorized links to sources related to Ukraine and Ukrainians. Start by simply scrolling down the page and getting a sense of all the different hyperlinked categories and subcategories that are listed here. You are bound to find something of interest. Be aware of the fact that this site is available in Ukrainian and English. A very valuable source of information on Ukraine.

Brodsky, Joseph: A Maddening Space (Mystic Fire Video, 1995, 60 minutes)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a portrait of Nobel prize-winning poet, essayist and controversial former dissident Joseph Brodsky which includes an overview of his troubled life in the Soviet Union, his emigration to the U.S. and his devotion to American literature, and is full of examples of both his poetry and his critical essays. Avalibility: May be borrowed free of charge from the Harvard University National Resource Center for Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies.

Media Type: Media

Brother (Brat) (1997)

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Recommended because this is a film set in post-Soviet St. Petersburg. The story begins as a young soldier returns to civilian life by working with his older brother as a hired assassin. This film has become a cult classic in Russia. It is very good for getting a glimpse at the darker side of life in post-Soviet Russia, a life that is replete with drugs, gangsters, violence, and a lack of a sense of purpose (i.e., the changes that cause many older Russians to want to return to the “good old days” of communism when life was more orderly, there was less crime, and one did not see gangsters dining in restaurants or speeding by in foreign luxury cars. Even though this film portrays the “New” Russia, one should not think that this movie portrays “typical” life in Russia in the late 1990s. Directed by Aleksei Balabanov (95 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $80.

Media Type: Media

Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita”

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because This is a guide site for Bulgakov’s controversial novel “Master and Margarita” which gained its popularity only after the breakup of the USSR as it wasn’t understood and accepted before. This site helps an English reader understand the novel and provides theme interpretations. Start by going to the Introduction section and reading about How to Use the site. Be aware of you can learn about Bulgakov as an author and his biography by going to the LINKS section of the website. It will direct you to more materials on the subject.

Bulgaria (Nations in Transition series)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as a good source on the Balkan nation of Bulgaria. Designed for Grades 7-10. Topics and materials include an introductory chapter on history followed by individual sections on government, religion, economy, culture, cities and daily life. Present problems and future solutions are discussed in the concluding chapter. Otfinoski spends less time describing the transition period; instead he includes a chapter on cities that reads like an upbeat travel guide. This may confuse the reader because its optimism seems to clash with information elsewhere about economic difficulties. There are also a few serious internal contradictions, but the book does have sparks of good writing. Reviewed by and available for free loan from the University of Illinois’ Russian and East European Center, or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.00. Updated September 2003.

Citation: Steven Otfinoski, Facts on File (1999)

Media Type: Book

Buried Alive: Afghan Women Under the Taliban

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is an article written on 1998 on the deplorable state of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. While somewhat dated since the Taliban are no longer in power, this piece gives the reader a graphic portrayal of how women suffered during the years of Taliban rule. Be aware of the fact that this article was written for “On the Issues” the Progressive Women’s Quarterly.

Burnt by the Sun (1994)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film is set in 1937 (at the height of Stalin’s “Terror”) in a country home just outside of Moscow. The film shows how the victims of Soviet repression came from all segments of Russian society. A very good film, but also quite complex, and it may be above the heads of most secondary school students. Winner of the 1994 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Russian-French co-production (134 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Carpathian Journey (1997)

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Recommended because it permits you to travel through the most picturesque part of Ukraine, the famous Carpathian mountains and surrounding countryside, towns, and villages and to come in contact with the people and animals that inhabit them. View the cities of Ivano Frankivsk and Kolomyya, the gateways to the Carpathian Mountains, Uzhhorod, Mukachiv, Yaremcha, Kosiv, Verkhovyna and Vyzhnytsia. Visit the colorful Kosiv Hutzul Arts and Crafts and Animal Bazaar. Observe the customs and traditions of the Hutzul people, their architecture and ancient way of life and take part in a typical Hutzul wedding (60 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Yevshan for $25.

Media Type: Media

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a biweekly summary of news and analysis of events in Central Asia and the Caucasus. The “Analyst” is compiled at the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Article authors are scholars from around the world. The website contains an archive of past articles in addition to listing current ones. Materials include news, field reports, and analytical articles Be aware of the possibility that this website may be too advanced for most students as it has a very academic tone.

Central Asia: Kirghizstan & Uzbekistan (1997)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this Lonely Planet video serves as a great introduction to two former Soviet republics in Central Asia. With host Ian Wright, the viewer is taken on a ride in an old Red Army helicopter, joins in evening entertainments including ram butting and wrestling, meets an eagle trainer, and participates in a horse trek meeting nomadic shepherds. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (tel: 614-292-8770, or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Lonely Planet for $20.

Media Type: Media

Chapayev (1934)

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Recommended because this is not only a Soviet film classic, but one of the most popular of all Soviet films as well. The story of a legendary Red Army commander during the Russian Civil War (1918-20), a hero whose popularity was all the greater because “he was a man of the people, unlettered but thirsting for knowledge — like many of the film’s viewers — as well as witty and brave” (Richard Stites). Directed by Sergei and Georgi Vasiliev (94 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $50.

Media Type: Media

Christiaan Stange’s Dostoevsky Research Station

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive Dostoevsky website. Start by clicking on the portrait of Dostoevsky to get past the introductory page. Be aware of the fact that topics and materials include several of Dostoevsky’s novels online, a chronology of the author’s life, list of Dostoevsky literary criticism, internet links, and more.

CNN Bosnia Website

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Recommended because this is CNN’s site for news from Bosnia. Topics and materials include news stories, maps, analysis, relief agency information, relevant links, and archival material. Be aware of the fact that it hasn’t been updated since 1996, but valuable nonetheless. Originally reviewed by Jason Vuic.

Collapse of the USSR: Ten Years On

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Recommended because this BBC produced website does two things very well. First, it gives a detailed chronology and analysis of how and why the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Secondly, it reports on how each of the fifteen newly independent states of the former Soviet Union were doing in 2001, a full decade after the USSR imploded. An excellent website. Start by clicking on “Timeline: Countdown to Collapse,” which provides a very good summary of important events between Gorbachev’s accession to power in 1985 and the end of the Soviet Union in late 1991. Be aware of the fact that this is a very extensive website. Each of the four sections is very rich in information and contains numerous subsections.

Come and See (1985)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a dramatization of the horrors of the Nazi-Soviet war in Belorussia which some have likened to Schindler’s List in terms of its sobering impact. The destruction and human suffering in the USSR caused by the Second World War was on such a huge scale that it is difficult to comprehend; but no area of the former Soviet Union was more devastated by the war than Belorussia. This film graphically portrays the carnage and physical ruin that occurred there (131 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Commissar (1967)

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Recommended because this film is based on Vasily Grossman’s “In the Town of Berdichev”. This classic film is recommended because it tells the story of a tough Bolshevik military commissar who must leave the Civil War front in the Ukraine to bear the child she had no time to abort (and whose father she shot for desertion without remorse). Her confinement in the home of a poor but happy Jewish family changes her life. Because of its unorthodoxy (depiction of a Bolshevik commissar having a child out of wedlock as well as its strong Jewish themes), the film was not released until 1987. Directed by Alexandr Askoldov (black & white, 105 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $60.

Media Type: Media

Communism: Legacy of Pollution (1997, 25 minutes)

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Recommended because of the insight it provides into environmental issues of Central Europe. In the wake of communism’s decline in Eastern Europe, the environmental legacy of communism has been revealed. The Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany form a black triangle of aggressive air pollution with which these newly democratic states must now contend. This film outlines the work of the European Union to help these countries moderate their industrial pollution. Be aware of the fact that this film is available for free loan from Indiana University’s Russian and East European Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), but not clear where it may be purchased.

Media Type: Media

Credo: The Russian Orthodox Church (1992)

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Recommended because this film captures the sights and smells and other-worldly color of the revived Orthodox Church in Russia and traces its history, from oppression under Stalin to its newfound freedom. Some fascinating and often deeply moving interviews with families of believers complement the visual splendor of Church worship. The program also examines the new challenge to orthodoxy presented by the rival Catholic Church competing in a free market of souls (30 minutes). In English. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Films for the Humanities for $90.

Media Type: Media

Crime and Punishment (Prestuplenie i nakazanie) (1970)

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Recommended because this is a faithful rendition of the Dostoevsky novel, produced in Russia. In Russian with English subtitles, but the latter are white and at times are difficult to read (black & white, 220 min). Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Crime and Punishment: Summary and Study Guide

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this website contains a very thorough chapter by chapter summary of the novel, followed by “Study Topics” and “Some Facts that the Reader Should Know.” Very well done. Be aware of the fact that this site was produced by Middlebury College in Vermont which has one of the strongest Russian language and literature departments in the US.

Cultural Atlas of Russia and the Former Soviet Union (Cultural Atlas Series)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this publication (revised 1998 edition) is a dazzling display of the history and culture of Russia and the former Soviet Union through 50 maps and 300 photographs (200 in color). A survey of Russian civilization from prehistory to the present. Be aware of the fact that this resource is available from Amazon.com for $35. Originally reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002.

Citation: R. R. Milner-Gulland, Nikalai Dijeuski, Robin Miner-Gulland, Nikolai Dejevsky; 240 pages

Media Type: Book

Dateline 1956: Budapest (1991)

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Recommended because this is a high quality historical documentary exploring the national and international events that led to Hungary’s brief period of freedom, and the November 4th Soviet military invasion that crushed the Hungarian revolution (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1968: Czechoslovakia (1991)

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Recommended because this is a fine documentary on Czech history beginning with the Prague Spring and ending with the Soviet suppression (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1980: Gdansk (1991)

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Recommended because this is a great historical documentary on late-Twentieth Century Polish history. The focus is the strike at the Lenin Shipyard to protest Communist rule and the deteriorating Polish economy. Also, the growth of Solidarity under Lech Walesa is described (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1985: Moscow (1991)

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Recommended because this documentary provides a review of Soviet leaders preceding Gorbachev and an examination of Glasnost and Perestroika (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu). Apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1989: Hungary (1991)

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Recommended because this historical documentary covers events from the 1956 uprising which was eventually crushed by Soviet tanks, through the 1980s moves toward democratic reform (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1989: Prague (1991)

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Recommended because this is a very good documentary on the history of Czechoslovakia from the Soviet invasion of 1968 to the election of Vaclav Havel in 1989 (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Dateline 1989: Romania (1991)

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Recommended because this documentary shows how the Communist system was overthrown in Romania, including the events at Timisoara that led to Romanian dictator Ceausescu’s fall (23 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Defense Mechanisms:Exploring the Recent History of Nuclear Diplomacy Between Russia and the United States

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson sheds light on the nuclear arms race between the US and Russia, a competition which continues more than a decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students examine the Cold War roots of the recent debate over the construction of United States and Russian missile defense shields. Start by reading the NYT article,Putin Says Russia Would Counter US Shield, upon which the lesson is based. Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan was published by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001, and is designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12. Also, be aware that this article is dated now, since the US has decided to build a nuclear shield and Russia has taken the decision not to try to build a shield of its own.

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this a well-written biography which tells the story of a family uprooted from their home during World War II. Yoshiko Uchida had been living a fairly normal life with her Nisei sister and Issei family in Berkley before the war broke out. However, their family is ripped apart because U.S. government uprooted them and forced them into a desert exile with thousands of other Japanese Americans. This book is appropriate for students in grades 9-12.

Citation: Uchida, Yoshiko University of Washington Press 1984 ISBN 0295961902

Media Type: Book

Diamonds in the Dark (1999)

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Recommended because from a traditional village bordering Ukraine, to the relatively sophisticated city of Bucharest, this video tells the stories of ten Romanian women. We see and hear how they lived under the old regime, and how they are confronting the new problems of the post-communist era. Film by Olivia Carrescia (60 minutes). Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute or may be purchased from First Run Icarus Films for $390.

Media Type: Media

Dostoevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment

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Recommended because considered the first modern novel, Crime and Punishment is both a compelling psychodrama and an unrelenting examination of modern humankind. This video is recommended because it skillfully interweaves riveting dramatizations of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: 1900-1939

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Recommended because this program traces the history of Eastern Europe from the reign of Franz Josef to the rise of Hitler and the beginnings of the Second World War. Topics covered include the war for Macedonia pitting Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece against the Turks; political manipulation of the Balkans by Russia, Austria, Britain, and France; domination of Serbia; the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the fall of czarist Russia; the Hungarian Revolution of 1918; rise of the Communist Party; birth of the Czechoslovakian Republic; the Treaty of Versailles; the rise of Marshal Pilsudski in Poland; formation of the United Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and the Munich Conference (55 minutes). This video is the first part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: 1939-1953

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Recommended because the events leading up to World War II had a devastating political and economic effect on Eastern Europe, as did the rise of Stalin and the thirst for empire of the Soviet Union. This program traces how both Hitler’s and Stalin’s quests for power left this vulnerable area of the world permanently destabilized. Topics include the invasion of Poland by Germany; intrigues and internal politics of the Balkan States; declaration of Croatian independence; the war between Russia and Germany; the Warsaw Ghetto; Marshal Tito and the Anti-Fascist Liberation Council; the battle for Stalingrad; American intervention; the Slavic resistance movement; the Yalta Conference; the Potsdam Conference; the Communist takeover; Tito’s break with Moscow; and closing of the Iron Curtain (59 minutes). This video is the second part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: 1953-1991

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Recommended because this program begins with the death of Stalin, which precipitated a rash of political intrigues in the Balkans, and ends with the fall of Communism. Topics include the rise of Nikita Khrushchev; the 1956 Polish Workers Revolt; the liberation of Cardinal Wyszynski; the Hungarian Revolt; the rise of Nicolae Ceausescu in Romania; Tito’s socialism; the Czechoslovakian Revolution; the death of Tito; the Helsinki Conference; Lech Walesa and the Polish miners’ strike; Gorbachev and perestroika; and the rise of democracy (59 minutes). This video is the third part of the “Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg” series described below.

Media Type: Media

Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg

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Recommended because this is a three-part series (each segment is described above) which provides an in-depth look at the troubled history of a part of the world that has served as a linchpin and tinderbox for much of the 20th century. The programs use rare archival footage to trace events from 1900 to the fall of Communism and the rise of democracy. 3-part series, 5Slavic and Eastern Europe-59 minutes each. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or Keisel.1@osu.edu) or the three tape set may be purchased from Films for the Humanities $345.95.

Media Type: Media

Electronic Library

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this library contains online versions of numerous works by many classical Russian writers from Pushkin to Bulgakov. Start by learning Russian if you don’t already know that strange and beautiful language. If you already know it start by selecting an author. Be aware of the fact that this site is entirely in Russian. You can also get to current russian literature and poetry, as well as to literature of 30s and 90s by clicking on the corresponding tabs.

Ethnologue country index — Languages of the World

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Recommended because it lists all languages for each country with very detailed explanation, including the languages which are not commonly spoke and almost extinct. Start by the World , which provides an overall picturee. Be aware of the “more information” link for each language. This function will take viewer to more details about the langauge as well as its speakers.

Eugene Onegin (Evgenii Onegin) (1958)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is the film version (on video) of the Peter Tchaikovsky opera based on the work by Alexander Pushkin. Directed by Roman Tikhomirov, with Bolshoi Theatre and Opera staff, cast includes Ariadna Shengelaya as Tatiana (sung by Galina Vshnevskaya) and Vadim Medvedev as Onegin (sung by Yevgeni Kibkalo). Filmed in Leningrad and the surrounding countryside (108 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Eurasianet.com

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because EurasiaNet provides detailed news and analysis from and about Central Asia (including Afghanistan). Topics include political, econonomic, environmental, and cultural developments in the regions. Be aware of the fact one can search this large website by topic or by country. Though the site is in English, many of the articles are also available in Russian. Eurasianet is based in New York and is affiliated with the Open Society Institute.

Facing the Future: Part 3

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because in Boris Godunov, the great composer Mussorgsky dramatized the conflict between power and the people during Russia’s original “Time of Troubles.” Sergei Eisenstein retold history with silent films of such power that they became more real than actual events. This segment explores the advance of Russian music and cinema, and looks at how new media forms are shaping Russian during its current time of change (60 minutes). Part of the “Face of Russia” series.

Media Type: Media

Fallout from Chornobyl

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this lesson (designed for grades 6-8)focuses on the most spectacular nuclear accident in history–the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the USSR in 1986. Students should recognize that changes to the environment in one place can often affect other, distant places. To introduce and reinforce this concept, students will read and analyze several articles describing consequences of the 1986 explosion and fire at a nuclear power plant in Chornobyl, Ukraine, a country which at that time was part of the Soviet Union. Students will then create a map showing which countries were affected by this disaster and how they were affected. Produced by the National Geographic Society. Be aware of the fact that this site has several links to Chornobyl related websites in addition to the online articles.

Famine-33 (1991)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is an historically accurate reenactment of 19East Asia-1933 famine in the Ukraine from the Ukrainian anti-Soviet perspective which views the famine as a deliberate policy of genocide directed against the Ukrainian people. Estimates of the number of Ukrainians who starved to death at this time range from five to ten million people. Produced at the Dovzhenko Film Studio, Kyiv, Ukraine (95 minutes). In Ukrainian with English subtitles. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Forever Flowing (1997)

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Recommended because although this is a novel, it is a true to life account of the sufferings of the Soviet people in the 1930s under Joseph Stalin’s dictatorship. It includes the story of the artificial famine in the Ukraine (chapter 14), which occurred in 19East Asia-1933. This is perhaps the best account of the famine because it describes the famine in very human terms by showing its effects on the people of one Ukrainian village. Grossman’s account produces the same deeply moving effect on readers as Speilberg’s “Schindler’s List” achieved with movie-goers. Available used through Amazon.com for $14.70.

Citation: Vasily Grossman, Northwestern University Press

Media Type: Book

From Nyet to Da: Understanding the Russians

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Recommended because this is the single best book for Americans to read to gain insight into how and why Russians think and act differently than us. Remarkable insights into how the Russian character has been shaped by their culture, geography, political system, etc. Not only useful, this is a very readable and interesting book. Reviewed by Bill Wolf.

Citation: Richmond, Yale. (1996). Paperback, 219 pages; Revised & Updated edition; Intercultural Press; ISBN: 1877864412

Media Type: Book

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From the Ends to the Beginning: A Bilingual Anthology of Russian Poetry

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as perhaps the best internet source for Russian poetry. Materials and topics include the poetry of dozens of Russians ranging from before Pushkin to those still alive today. The poems are displayed with side-by-side texts in both Russian and English. Most of the poets included here are provided with chronological biographies accompanied by photographs. Additional Internet links are included. Produced by the Slavic Languages Department at Northwestern University. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, May 2002; updated August 2003.

Frontline: War in Europe (2000)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is an investigation into the 1999 NATO war against Yugoslavia over Kosovo. Focus is on how the war was prosecuted from the NATO perspective, with special attention given to the diplomatic infighting among NATO officials, both civilian and military, including Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark. In the process, the story of the political constraints, internal divisions, and miscalculations that shaped the war in the Balkans is revealed (120 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); also may be purchased from ShopPBS for Teachers for $70. Be aware of the fact that there is a great website which supplements this documentary.

Media Type: Media

General Russian Studies from an American Source

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because the Library of Congress has one of the largest Russian materials collections in the United States. The Library collection is primarily print materials, although a good video collection is listed. Coverage is spotty, so you may find something great or nothing on the topic you desire. Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Global Environmental Outlook 2000: Overview.

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this United Nations Environmental Program overview of the state of the environment provides a good starting point for understanding the problem. The essential sections are the ones on global perspectives and the one on major global trends. Reviewed by The Study of Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism.

Citation: United Nations Environment Programme.

Media Type: Book

Golden Kiev (1994)

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Recommended because this is a Canadian production highlighting the capital of the newly independent Ukraine, its history, its architecture, and its people (55 minutes). In English. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Yevshan for $25.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Composers Series

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Recommended because this series of videos on Russian classical music composers provide excellent introductory biographies. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu) or each tape may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Modest Mussorgsky : In English. Biography of noted Russian composer who lived from 1839-1881 and whose best-known works include “Picutres at an Exhibition” and “Night on Bald Mountain” (30 minutes).

Sergei Rachmaninov :In English. Biography of the great Russian composer and pianist who lived from 1874-1943, and who left Russia in 1917, never to return (30 minutes).

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov :In English. Biography of the Russian composer who lived from 1844 to 1908, and creator of such masterpieces as Scheherazade and the Russian Easter Overture (30 minutes).

Alexander Scriabin : In English. Biography of Russian composer who lived from 1872 to 1915 (30 minutes).

Peter Tchaikovsky : In English. Biography of the Russian composer who lived from 1840-93, and whose most famous works include “The Nutcracker,” “1812 Overture,” Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Symphony No. 6 (“Pathetique”) (30 minutes).

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Alexander Blok

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of Aleksandr Blok, poet and dramatist, and greatest of the Russian symbolists. He lived from 1880 to 1821. His most famous works include The Twelve, Scythians, Verses about the Lady Beautiful, and Homeland (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Alexander Pushkin

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s most venerated writer. He lived from 1799 to 1837. His most famous works include Eugene Onegin, Ruslan and Ludmila, Boris Godunov, and The Queen of Spades (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Anton Chekhov

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of Anton Chekhov, Russian short-story writer and dramatist who lived from 1860 to 1904. His most famous works include The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Boris Pasternak

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of the Soviet poet and Nobel Prize winning author who lived from 1890 to 1960. His Doctor Zhivago was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958 (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of the world’s greatest novelists. He lived from 1821 to 1881. His most famous works include The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Possessed (25 min). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Leo Tolstoy

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Recommended because this is a biography of the Russian novelist (b. 1828, d. 1910) which focuses on his personal life rather than this literary works. Superficial at times, this video does however take the viewer to the places in Russia where Tolstoy lived and worked and could serve as a good introduction to the writer’s troubled life (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Maxim Gorky

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of the novelist and playwright and founder of Socialist Realism. Gorky was born in 1868 and died in 1936. His most famous works include Mother, The Lower Depths, In the World, and The Gorky Trilogy (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Great Russian Writers: Vladimir Mayakovsky

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Recommended because this is a biographical account of the foremost Bolshevik poet in the early Soviet era. Born in 1893, Mayakovsky committed suicide in 1930. His most famous works include A Cloud in Trousers, The Backbone Flute, Ode to Revolution, and Left March (25 minutes). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Growing Old in Russia (2001)

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Recommended because this is a look at the lives of senior citizens in the Lake Baikal region of Russia, where the brutal winters tie the community close together and make sharing memories a major pastime. World War II veterans still bring out their uniforms and wear them with pride, rugged living and chores still occupy a land with limited government assistance, and vodka is in heavy use by these hardy souls (50 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Habiba: A Sufi Saint from Uzbekistan

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Recommended because its insights into the culture of Uzbekistan. Habiba is a Tabib, a Muslim healer. She belongs to the earliest Sufi “Chain of Mystic Transmission,” a lineage of teachers whose main representative is a great master, Bahaudin Nacksband. Uzbekistan is a dream-like land, a crossroad of Western and Eastern civilization along the Silk Road (30 minutes). Available from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Harvest of Despair (1984)

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Recommended because this is a documentary (in English) about the Ukrainian “terror famine” of 19East Asia-1933 which caused the deaths of perhaps seven million or more people. Using interviews with survivors and as well as scholars, in addition to rare photographic evidence, the film argues that the famine was deliberately created by the Soviet Government as part of Stalin’s decade-long effort to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry, which resisted forced collectivization of its farmland (black & white, 55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu); available from Facets Multimedia for $19.95.

Media Type: Media

Hidden Memory (1995)

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Recommended because this is a documentary on Russian folk lore. Eighty years ago, Soviet authorities began a systematic effort to destroy Russian religious and cultural traditions in order to secure loyalty to the state. Today, a handful of folklorists are in a race against time to uncover and preserve true Russian culture. Traveling though the countryside, often at their own expense, students and scholars are visiting elderly villagers, recording their songs, dances and stories and collecting traditional costumes. Russia: Hidden Memory takes viewers on a journey through remote areas seldom visited by outsiders. As a dedicated Russian folklorist, Galina Sysoeva teams with American folklorist, Deirdre Paulsen, to search out the few survivors who remember the “pure” rituals and celebrations that were performed for centuries and capture them for future generations (56 minutes). Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Highlands & Highlanders (Gory i Gorale) (1990)

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Recommended because this is a Polish-produced film of the southern Polish Tatra Mountains and the people who live in this region (60 minutes). In English. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Polart for $25.

Media Type: Media

History of Modern Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a website containing the lectures, maps, exams of the Russian history course taught by Gerhard Rempel at Western New England College. Materials in this website include forty-eight well-written and thoughtful lectures in all, each one on a separate page, from earliest times to the Gorbachev era. The lectures are indexed by subject and follow in chronological order. The only thing missing are lectures on the collapse of Communism in Russia (1991) and Russia in the Yetsin and Putin eras (i.e, the last ten or twelve years of Russian history).

Homepage of the NATO-led Implementation Force in Bosnia (IFOR)

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Recommended because this is the IFOR (Implementation Force) homepage which contains maps, pictures, and documents relating to “Operation Joint Endeavor,” which lasted from 20 Dec. 1995 – 20 Dec. 1996 in Bosnia Herzegovina. Start by reading about NATO’s mission in Bosnia. This is a useful site, one originally reviewed by Jason Vuic.

How to Decorate Beautiful Ukrainian Easter Eggs

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because “Pysanky” is the term for the Ukrainian way to decorate Easter Eggs. This pamphlet can turn any school’s celebration of Easter into a chance to learn about a foreign culture while having fun. Available at the Ukrainian Gift Shop. Also available for free loan at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies (http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/crees/outres). Designed for grades K-6.

Citation: by Luba Perchyshyn

Media Type: Book

In Depth: Investigating Al-Qaeda

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this BBC website gives in-depth news coverage and analysis to the US led war against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as throughout the world in the wake of the September 11th attacks on the United States. Start by exploring covered topics such as: “Overview,” “Al-Qaeda’s Origins and Links,” “Who’s Who in Al-Qaeda,” “11 September in Context,” “Winning the War on Terror,” and “Money Trail,” among many others. Be aware of the fact that this excellent site is updated daily by one of the world’s leading news organizations.

In Search of Genghis Khan

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this program looks at the legend and the traces of Genghis Khan as well as the people and culture of his descendants, whose lives are barely changed since the Mongol horde burst out of Central Asia in the 13th century to ride as far as the gates of Vienna and permanently change the face of most of Asia and Europe (54 minutes). This film is available from Films for the Humanities for $90.

Media Type: Media

International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is the homepage of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Be aware of of the fact that there are a huge number of downloadable documents on cases handled by the Tribunal. Good for teaching about war crimes. Originally reviewed by Jason Vuic.

Introduction to Tolstoy’s Writings

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Recommended because Written by Ernest J. Simmons, a noted authority on Leo Tolstoy, this website is recommended because it consists of twelve chapters outlining the significance of Tolstoy’s work. Be aware, however, that it does not contain texts of the author’s novels or short stories. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, May 2002; updated August 2003.

Ivan the Terrible (Ivan Groznyi)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a great Russian movie and has historical value as well. Part I: (1944) Tsar Ivan Grozny carries out his dream of unifying all of Russia but is confronted with hostility and treachery within his own family (black & white, 94 min). Part II: (1946) Ivan is denounced by a close friend for the death of a group of boyars and plots his revenge (black & white with some color, 90 min). Eisenstein was awarded a Stalin Prize for Part I. Part II was shown to Stalin who intensely disliked it. It was subsequently banned and was thus not publicly released until 1958. In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $60.

Media Type: Media

Johnson’s Russia List

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Johnson’s Russia List is a comprehensive daily e-mail news service on Russian affairs. Each list contains articles and commentary about Russian politics, economics, society, and culture. Perhaps the best single source for what is happening in Russia today, especially since Russian perspectives (translated from the original Russian into English) appear alongside Western articles. Be aware of the fact that you can subscribe to the list by writing David Johnson at . To access past editions of the List, go to the List archive at the URL listed above.

Kabul’s Troubles: Taking a Look at Afghanistan’s Turbulent Political Past and Present

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Recommended because this lesson sheds light on Afghanistan’s turbulent history in the twentieth century. Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students investigate the many political changes that Afghanistan has endured over the past century in order to better assess the impact of the recent fleeing of the Taliban from the capital of Kabul. Start by reading the related article Taliban Troops Gives Up Kabul Without a Fight. Be aware of the fact that that this lesson plan was designed for grades 6-8 and 9-12. Produced by the New York Times Learning Network, 2001.

Kanal (1957)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is Andrej Wajda’s hallucinatory portrait of a group of Polish patriots who flee the Nazis through the sewer system of a war-devastated Warsaw. No country suffered more than Poland in the Second World War and this film captures both the great heroism of the Poles in that struggle as well as the tremendous human cost of the war for Poland (96 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Khrushchev : A Political Life

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Recommended because Recommended as a recent and comprehensive biography of the controversial Soviet leader. An even more recent biography of Khrushchev (and one based more on archival revelations) is William Taubman’s Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (2003).

Citation: William J. Tompson (1997)

Media Type: Book

Kiev Post

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its comprehensive reporting of news from and about Ukraine. Despite the threat that freedom of the press is under due to the dictatorial policies of Ukrainian President Kuchma, the “Kiev Post” provides fairly objective news coverage. Be aware of the fact that you must register (free, but you are required to provide your e-mail address and other information) to gain access to most of the Post’s articles.

Korczak (1990)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film chronicles the extraordinary efforts of Dr. Janusz Korczak, pediatrician and author, to protect a group of abandoned Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War when the Nazis occupied Poland (black & white, 118 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Koshka’s Tales (1993)

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Recommended because of it stories from Russia. 80pp, currently out of print. Designed for grades K-5. The author has retold five of the most famous Russian fairy tales in contemporary English. The tales are woven together by the cat Koshka, a wise old story-telling cat, who is narrating to a banished Tsaritsa and are accompanied by full-color, full-page illustrations, also done by Mayhew. Available for a free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute. (http://www.indiana.edu/~reeiweb/audiovisual/avoutrea.html#elementary).

Citation: by James Mayhew. Kingfisher Books

Media Type: Book

Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia

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Recommended because Designed for elementary school level. Recommended because the author has retold five of the most famous Russian fairy tales in contemporary English. The tales are woven together by the cat Koshka, a wise old story-telling cat, who is narrating to a banished Tsaritsa and are accompanied by full-color, full-page illustrations, also done by Mayhew. Reviewed by and available from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute.

Citation: James Mayhew (Kingfisher Books, 1993, 80 pages)

Media Type: Book

Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia (1993)

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Recommended because Recommended because the author has retold five of the most famous Russian fairy tales in contemporary English. The tales are woven together by the cat Koshka, a wise old story-telling cat, who is narrating to a banished Tsaritsa and are accompanied by full-color, full-page illustrations, also done by Mayhew. Suitable for elementary school age students. Available from Indiana University Russian and East European Studies Institute.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, August 2003.

Citation: James Mayhew, Kingfisher Books, 80 pages.

Media Type: Book

Kosovo: An Uneasy Peace

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this BBC website takes a comprehensive look at the 1999 war between NATO and Yugoslavia over Kosovo and the aftermath of the Yugoslav defeat. It makes clear that ethnic strife continues in the region. Be aware of the fact that historical background is combined with late-breaking news articles, maps, timelines.

Kosovo: Of Blood and History

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because to fully understand the recent bloodshed in Kosovo, one must go back 600 years and trace the causes of the undying hatreds that permeate Serbia and the surrounding region. Using eyewitness accounts, maps, and footage both of historic events and of Serbian life, this recommended program examines the ethnic nationalism and religious extremism that have resulted in the long-standing hatred between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians, hatred that continues to destabilize the Balkans during the Milosevic regime (41 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $150.

Media Type: Media

Kyyivan Pecherska Lavra

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Recommended because it reveals secrets of the underground monastery, the great religious and cultural center of Kyyiv. In Ukrainian with English subtitles. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Lady with a Dog (Dama s sobachkoi) (1960)

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Recommended because this is a classic short story by Chekhov that has been made into an excellent film. This is the story of a man and a woman, both already married, who fall in love while vacationing in turn of the century Yalta. Directed by Josef Heifitz, stars Iya Savvina and Alexei Batalov (black & white, 89 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Laibach (1993)

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Recommended because this is one of the very few documentaries on newly independent Slovenia, recently part of the former Yugoslavia. Regimes have fallen all across Europe and the Soviet Union. Laibach’s music, theater and art keep burning the enduring values lost to communist and capitalist states East and West. But their vision of Utopia as the exact negative of totalitarianism drew flak in ex-Yugoslavia, Europe and America and their challenging montages of totalitarian imagery and brute rock and disco rhythms aroused both anger and guilty pleasure. Paradoxically, the Laibach issue seeded the democratic debates that led to the declaration of Independent Slovenia, forcing their critics to revise their opinions of this most controversial group (60 minutes). Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute. Apparently not available commercially.

Media Type: Media

Lech Walesa

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because it was written by noted East European political analyst Timothy Garton Ash, this website provides the biography of the Polish trade union leader and President of Poland. Be aware of the fact that it is part of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Important People of the Twentieth Century series.

Lenin’s Tomb : The Last Days of the Soviet Empire

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended because this Pulitzer Prize winner for nonfiction is one of the best single sources for information on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the early Post-Soviet era. Rather than providing a chronicle of events, Remnick instead writes about key personalities, most of whom he personally interviewed. A great read. Those who like this book should consider also reading as a follow-up, Remnick’s 1998 “Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia.” Available from Amazon.com for $11.17.Reviewed by Bill Wolf, April 2002; updated August 2003.

Citation: David Remnick, 588 pages (1993)

Media Type: Book

Library of Congress Soviet Archives Exhibit

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this online exhibit does a good job of discussing the major periods and issues in Soviet history and matches them with state documents recently declassified from the former Soviet archives. The exhibit is divided into two broad areas: “Internal Workings of the Soviet System” and “The Soviet Union and the United States.” The exhibit covers the entire period of Soviet history, from 1817 to 1991. Start by reading the “How to Use This Exhibit” section on the archive homepage. Be aware of the judgement that the archive’s declassified documents, while interesting and important, can hardly be considered sensational.

Life in the Warsaw Ghetto

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because Recommended because this book examines how people lived under the government of the Third Reich in German-occupied Poland. Establishing the historical background, the book depicts the lives of Jews in Warsaw with the aid of photographs and selections from memoir accounts. Apparently out of print, but available used from Amazon.com for various prices. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, updated September 2003.

Citation: Gail B. Stewart, Lucent Books (1995) 112 pages

Media Type: Book

Lodz Ghetto (1992, 120 minutes)

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Recommended because this film chronicles the besieged and doomed city in Poland which held the second largest concentration of Jews in Nazi Europe. The lives and stories of the 200,000 Jews who were trapped in the Ghetto are told solely with authentic writings from secret journals, archival photographs and footage shot by German soldiers. Be aware of the fact that this film is available for free loan from Indiana University’s Russian and East European Studies Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $40.

Media Type: Media

Lonely Planet Guide to Ukraine

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is a good website for general information about Ukraine. Includes sections on history, culture, environment, a good map, and a “slide show” of Ukrainian scenes. Start by going to the culture section to get a good overview of how Ukrainians differ from Russians.

Man of Iron (1981)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because made in the center of political events surrounding it, this film merges documentary footage of the Solidarity strike into a fictionalized drama of a disillusioned radio producer (Marian Opania) who is ordered to Gdansk to undermine the reputation of one of the leaders of the worker revolt. Directed by Andrzej Wajda (152 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Mayakovsky and His Circle

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Recommended as an interesting and aesthetically pleasing website that takes a very personal look at the Russian poet’s life in the

Milosevic on Trial

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Recommended because Recommended because this website presents a detailed and objective look at the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, as well as news and commentary on the development of the former Yugoslavia in the post-Milosevic era. Also includes links to BBC websites on the history of Yugoslavia in the 20th century, the rise and fall of Milosevic, and the ethnic conflict in Kosovo. Start by reading about Milosevic’s thirteen years in power as head of Yugoslavic in the Rise and Fall section. Be aware of the fact that this website was produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Moscow and Leningrad: The Crown Jewels of Russia (1990)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film is part of the superb “Video Visits” series. The film starts in Moscow where the Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Moscow Circus, Gorky Park and GUM are all featured. In Leningrad one sees Palace Square, the Winter Palace with its Hermitage Museum as well as Peter the Great’s fabulous retreat, Petrodvorets (50 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1979)

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Recommended because this romantic comedy was probably the most popular movie in Russia during the Brezhnev era (sold 75 million tickets) and winner of the 1980 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. In Moscow in 1958, three small-town girls have just arrived to pursue their dreams. Ludmila is determined to land a rich boyfriend, Tonya settles for a stable marriage to a working class man, while Katerina gets pregnant. She will eventually make it to the top twenty years later. In the process, this realistic movie will help American students see that life under Soviet socialism was not all drab and dull and that in many ways, it was similar to life in the West. But it also shows well Russian culture, for example life at a country “dacha,” a shish-kabob picnic in the woods, Russian drinking habits, Russia’s more traditional values when it comes to relations between men and women, and much more. In Russian with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Muslims in Bulgaria

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Recommended because of its information on the little-known Mulsim minority in Bulgaria. Throughout this century, the Muslim population of southeastern Europe has been hounded and periodically massacred. Communist Bulgaria continued the pre-Communist policy of “ethnic cleansing” (a misnomer, since many of the victims are Slavs), attempting to “Bulgarize” its Turkish-speaking Muslims. After a particularly tense time in 1989, Muslims are once again permitted to practice their religion openly, but after decades of official repression, knowledge of Islamic religious traditions is all too inadequate, even among the foremost religious leaders in the country. (30 minutes, color). Available for purchase from Films for the Humanities for $90.

Media Type: Media

My Ukraine 18

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Recommended because of its performances by the Kiev Bandura Ensemble as well as by the Kiev Kalyna Song and Dance Ensemble (75 minutes.) In Ukrainian. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Nabokov, Vladimir (1996)

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Recommended because this is a biography of the emigre Russian writer. Relatives, friends, and professional associates examine the life and works of the Russian-born novelist and critic. Nabokov, who began his literary career as a poet, is perhaps best known for his controversial work on Nikolai Gogol. Writing extensively both in Russian and English, his intricate, stylish literary effects and unorthodox structure are apparent in works including Pale Fire and The Gift. Excerpts from these and other novels reinforce the core thesis of his entire body of fiction: the problem of art itself, presented in various figurative disguises. BBC production (53 min). In English. Available for loan from Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $90.

Media Type: Media

New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001

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Recommended because Recommended as a volume of poems, from his earliest to most recent, of one of the world’s greatest poets — Nobel Prize winner Czeslaw Milosz. All poems are in English translation from the original Polish. Available from Amazon.com for $14. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, updated September 2003.

Citation: Czeslaw Milosz, Ecco Press (2001)

Media Type: Book

October (Oktiabr) (1927)

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Recommended because this silent film was directed by the great Soviet filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein. It depicts the 1917 Revolution from the Soviet point of view. But it is more than just a piece of propaganda: it is also artistic and compelling cinema. The film begins with the overthrow of the monarchy in February, moves on to the establishment of the Provisional Government and the rise of Kerensky, and culminates with the Bolshevik/Communist takeover under Lenin

Media Type: Media

Pan Tadeusz

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Recommended because Recommended as an epic tale of country life among the Polish and Lithuanian gentry in the years 1811 and 1812. Pan Tadeusz is Poland’s best known literary work and has been translated into every European language. Of the three English versions, Kenneth R. Mackenzie’s is considered the best. Available from Polart for $35. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, updated September 2003.

Citation: Adam Mickiewicz, translated by Kenneth R. Mackenzie

Media Type: Book

Pan Tadeusz (1999)

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Recommended because this film is based on the 19th century epic poem by Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. Written in 1834, while Mickiewicz was living in exile in Paris, the poem is still considered the greatest epic of Polish literature. Set in the picturesque landscape of Lithuania, the film depicts the region during the Napoleonic era. The film conveys the poem’s political tone as well as its derisive irony. The lavish costume drama features an all-star cast. The plot revolves around a feud between two Polish gentry families living under Russian rule. Vengeance, thwarted love, trysts, mind-boggling secrets, feasts, hunts, balls, and battles enliven the action, which unfolds amidst the Poles’ hope that Napoleon’s invasion of Russia will lead to the restoration of Polish statehood. This film was a blockbuster in Poland, but is more difficult for non-Polish audiences to appreciate. Directed by Andrzej Wajda (157 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $40.

Media Type: Media

Peace de Resistance: Exploring Conflict Resolution Through Examining Current Events in Macedonia (Ethnic Conflict)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because ethnic conflict in Macedonia had the potential to start a Third World War, but news coverage of this subject was surprisingly meager. Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students consider ways in which the current conflict in Macedonia parallels their lives and explore techniques for resolving such conflicts. Be aware of the fact that this lesson plan was produced by the New York Times Learning Network and is designed for grades 6-8, 9-12.

People’s Century: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times (1997)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a high quality film documentary of the twentieth century. The OSU Slavic Center has several episodes, all concerned with themes relating to Eastern Europe and communism. These include: “Brave New World: The Cold War Begins (194Slavic and Eastern Europe-62),” “Fallout: Nuclear Energy and Destruction (1942-87),” “People Power: The End of Soviet-Style Communism (1980-93),” and ” Red Flag: Communism in Russia (19Africa-36),” all of which are described separately in this section. The series is a joint production of the BBC and WGBH Boston. Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or the entire series may be purchased from Amazon.com for $350.

Media Type: Media

Pigs (Psy) (1992)

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Recommended because this is an American-style crime/action film with lots of swearing, graphic violence, and some sex. The story of two Polish secret policemen under the communist system who are forced to adapt to the new reality of post-Communist Poland. One becomes an ordinary policeman, the other gets involved in a narcotics-trafficking gang. Despite their now radically different lifestyles, the two men remain friends — at least for a time. Directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski (108 minutes). In Polish with English subtitles. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $50.

Media Type: Media

Poland in the Classroom

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is the single best Internet site for teachers and students interested in learning more about Poland. This is a terrific site with a tremendous amount of information about Poland: it’s history, geography, and culture. Start by scrolling down the page and seeing for yourself the incredible number of topics covered here. Be aware of the fact that resources are divided into two sections, K-6 and Grades 7-12. Teachers are encouraged to look at the references to distinguished Poles–probably they will be surprised at number of great writers, scientists, soldiers, etc., who were Poles (including four Nobel Prize winners in literature). This site is tremendous! Produced by the University of Buffalo (where there is a large Polish-American population).

Poland: 1000 Years of History and Culture (1986-89)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this is a documentary series about Polish history and culture produced by Roger Conant at the University of Pittsburgh. In English. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print. Part One: Piast Poland (22 minutes). P13 Part Two: Jagiellonian Poland (20 minutes). P14 Part Three and Four: Gentry commonwealth (1573-1795) (36 minutes) P15 Part Four: Romantic and Modern Poland (17Latin America-1945)

Media Type: Media

Poland: A Proud Heritage (Video Visits) (1989)

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Recommended because this is an excellent introduction to this Central European country. In this video, the hospitable people of Poland welcome you to their friendly country. You will journey to Warsaw, the capital, filled with newly restored historical buildings. In Castle Square, gaze at the Royal Castle and Sigmund’s Column, the symbol of the city. Tour Cracow’s Wawel Hill, the ancient seat of Polish kings, and enjoy Polish folklore in the Tatras Mountains. Bask in the sun at Gdansk and experience the splendid serenity of Bialowieza Forest — Europe’s last virgin woodland. Pause in commemoration at the Auschwitz memorial. Glide down the picturesque Dunajec River, then visit the monastery of Jasna Gora, where millions of Poles make an annual pilgrimage to see the famed Black Madonna (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Poland: Land of the White Eagle (1987-89)

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Recommended because this is a series of ten minute films highlighting Poland’s history, traditions, cultural heritage, architecture, and landscape. Directed by Wojciech Sarnowicz. In English. Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Part 1: visits Gniezno, Pszczyna, the Pieniny and Beskidy mountains and the Eagle Nest trail between Cracow and Czestochowa (95 minutes)

Part 2: visits Warsaw, Cracow, the Wieliczka saltmine, Malbork, Torun, Wroclaw, Lodz and Szczecin (90 minutes).
Part 3: visits Czestochowa, Zamosc, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, Gdansk and Gdynia (90 minutes).

Media Type: Media

Polart

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Polart specializes in all things Polish and they carry a large selection of books, maps, videos, music CDs, clothing, handicrafts, and many other Polish items. The single best source in the United States (Sarasota, Florida to be exact) to find Polish-related items. Their catalogue is online.

Polish Folk Dance and Songs (1994)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film features folk dances and songs from many different regions of Poland performed by authentic folk groups in national dress. Regions represented include Kaszuby, Warmia, Mazury, Kujawy, Lowicz, Kurpie, Podlasie, Podhale, Beskid, Cieszyn, and Przeworsk (68 minutes). Available for loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write Keisel.1@osu.edu), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Polish Nobel Laureates in Literature

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because there are four Polish writers who have won the Nobel Prize for literature and this charming site offers biographical information on these four as well as many photographs. Start by reading the Overview for a good introduction to the website. Be aware of the fact that there is an extensive sampling of the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz (who died in 2004). Built by Polish students new to the English language, this site is also available in Polish.

Polish Resource Materials: Library of Congress

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Recommended because this website provides a guide to a very thorough collection of sources for Polish study–that found at the United States Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Topics and materials include mostly print resources, several in other languages, (mostly in English with some Polish and French). Originally reviewed by Tim Cave.

Polish-Americans

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this film provides a discussion of the lives of three generations of Polish-Americans represented by a single family, including how and why they immigrated to the US in the first place, the importance of their cultural identity, how it is maintained, and how it changes. Designed for grades 4-10. From the “Multicultural Peoples of North America” series (30 minutes). Available for free loan from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to: Keisel.1@osu.edu), or may be purchased from Amazon.com for $40.

Media Type: Media

Post-Soviet Russia: Promise Deferred (1997)

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Recommended because this program examines how the Russian city of Gorky (now renamed Nizhny-Novgorod) has adapted to a free-enterprise system. We see public reaction to the auction of government property, and the opening of private markets. Class divisions became apparent in interviews with the Russian nouveau riche, the Mafia, and average citizens. Ordinary people, tired of waiting for economic benefits promised through privatization, support Communist political candidates who promise renewed state control and a return to traditional Russian values. The city is shown as being torn apart by violent tensions and antagonisms that exist between the advocates of reform and Neo-Communists (55 minutes). Available for free loan from the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Pravda

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because this is the former official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but today has become a mainstream publication of the post-Soviet Russian press. Unlike The Moscow Times, this newspaper is not pro-Western, but rather more Russian nationalist in tone. For this reason it is very useful for a critical view of the US role in world politics, one that is shared by a clear majority of Russians. Be aware of the fact that articles are translated from the Russian into English and often the translations are a little rough, but still quite comprehensible.