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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 Month in the Life of Ephtim D. (1999)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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

After the Velvet Revolution (1993)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this PBS broadcast provides a first-hand look at the reality of what happened to the people of the former Czechoslovakia in the first three years of democracy. The film follows the lives of five different families and individuals (58 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).

Media Type: Media

Against the Current (1988)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this film gives a Russian perspective on environmental problems caused by Soviet industrialization. Protesters who live near a synthetic protein plant are labeled extremists, but they continue their fight because they are convinced the air pollution is killing their children (27 minutes). Produced in Russia during the Gorbachev era. Be aware of the fact that this film is in Russian with English subtitles. It is available for 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 for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $60.

Media Type: Media

Aleksandr Nevsky (1938)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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

Alexander Scriabin

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a biography of Russian composer who lived from 1872 to 1915 (30 minutes). In English. Part of the “Great Composer series,” 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

All Friends Here (Sami Swoi) (1967)

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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

An Introduction to Russian Literature (1975, 56 minutes)

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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)

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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)

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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

Anna Akhmatova (1971)

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Recommended because of the perspectives of this documentary 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 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 $90.

Media Type: Media

Back to Chernobyl (1989)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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

Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia (1992)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a fine travelogue tour of the Baltic states, including Lithuania’s Trakai Castle, a tour of ancient Riga, and Estonia’s festival of folk music (54 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 Facets Multimedia for $25.

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)

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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)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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

Big Deal (Kochaj Albo Rzuc) (1978)

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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

Bosnia: Peace Without Honor (1995)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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

Bought & Sold: An Investigative Documentary About the International Trade in Women (1998, 42 minutes)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is an investigative documentary about the international trade in women, and includes new material from Global Survival Network’s two-year undercover investigation into the traffic in women for prostitution out of Russia. This video includes undercover footage of meetings with the Russian mafia, interviews with women who were trafficked overseas and perspectives from experts from around the world about how to address the problem. Be aware of the fact that this film is available for loan from the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), not clear where it may be purchased.

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

Budapest (1995)

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Recommended because it is part of the “Super Cities” series. The video is a travelogue-type portrayal of the Hungarian capital which delves into the city’s history and culture (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 Facets Multimedia for $10.

Media Type: Media

Burnt by the Sun (1994)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

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: Kirghizstan & Uzbekistan (1997)

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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

Closely Watched Trains (1966)

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Recommended because this is an ironic film about a young man on his first job in a small town railroad station. Set in Czechoslovakia during World War II and the Nazi occupation, this film is both funny and sad. Directed by Jiri Menzel (black & white, 89 minutes). In Czech 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

Cold Days (1991)

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because this is a drama based on the massacre of several thousand Jewish and Serbian people from the Novi Sad area during the Second World War. The film is structured around the memories and self-justifications of four men involved in the massacre as they await trial in 1946. Each, of course, denies his complicity or responsibility for the events — either he was just obeying orders and thus had no choice in the matter, or, in one case, he simply helped dispose of the corpses rather than taking part in the killing. Directed by Andras Kovacs (102 min). In Hungarian 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

Come and See (1985)

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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

Czechoslovakia (Video Visits) (1991)

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Recommended because this is a terrific introduction to the history, culture, and people of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia). In this fairyland of medieval castles and architectural treasures, East meets West to weave a fascinating cultural tapestry. Uncover the valiant history that lies behind Czechoslovakia’s struggle for democracy, tour the capital city of Prague with its historic Old Town Square, the Prague Castle, and the St. Vitus cathedral. Explore the Abyss of Macocha, and lose yourself in the vast interconnecting tunnels of Punkva Cave. Hope for good weather for a cable car ride up the High Tatra mountains of Slovakia. Listen to the haunting staccato of the shepherd’s ancient fujara, and delight in the artistry of a contemporary puppet play. Experience this proud nation, and celebrate the awakening of its triumph and tradition (55 minutes). 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 available from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

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

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

Diamonds of the Night (1964)

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Recommended because this is a feature film on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Based on the story by Arnost Lustig, this film is about two Czech Jewish boys who escape from a train which is transporting them from one concentration camp to another. Ultimately they are hunted down by a group of senile home guards. The film goes beyond the theme of war and anti-Nazism and concerns itself with man’s struggle to preserve human dignity. Directed by Jan Nemec (B&W, 64 min). In Czech 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

Divided We Fall (2000)

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Recommended because this is a feature film on persecution of Jews in Eastern Europe under the Nazis. In German-occupied Czechoslovakia, a young couple provides shelter to a Jewish neighbor, taking extreme and sometimes comical measures to protect him and themselves. Petr Jarchovsky, with director Jan Hrebejk, adapted his own novel for this Oscar-nominated feature (122 minutes). In Czech 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 $15.

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: 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

Eastern Europe: Socio-Economic Change in the 90s (1995)

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Recommended because the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 brought the hope of political and economic freedom for millions. For some in that region, life has never been better. Others still mourn the passing of the security of life under communist rule. This film is recommended because students will have the opportunity to examine both sides of life in post-communist Eastern Europe. In doing so, students will be able to draw their own conclusions about the pros and cons of life in democratic and communist societies. A CNN production that includes a 13-page teachers’ curriculum guide (45 min). 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.

Media Type: Media

Eugene Onegin (Evgenii Onegin) (1958)

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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

Expanding Europe: Round Five of the EU Buildout (7 tape series)

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Recommended because the fifth wave of eager entrants into the European Union is included Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Cyprus. Program one of this seven-part series takes a broad look at the economic hurdles that faced these six countries when they were still just candidates for EU membership, while the rest of the series examines the fiscal health of each country within its cultural context as it prepared for accession into the EU. Produced in 2000, each tape is 25 minutes long. Be aware of the fact that this film is available for 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), may be purchased from Films for the Humanities for $570.

Media Type: Media

Famine-33 (1991)

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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

Frontline: War in Europe (2000)

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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

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 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: 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

Gypsies and the Freedom to Hate (2002, 22 minutes)

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Recommended because it sheds light on a widespread phenomenon of racism in Central Europe. Ironically, the Gypsies or Roma of Eastern Europe, a people historically persecuted, were protected under the communist system; the disintegration of that system has opened the floodgates of a repressed hatred. In this program, ABC News correspondent Chris Bury looks at an age-old prejudice that has resurfaced in such countries as Hungary and the Czech Republic. Inheriting a legacy of discrimination end even slavery, the Roma, as this profile shows, are an ethnic group with the lowest education levels and highest welfare rates in Europe. Be aware of the fact that this film is available for loan from the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University (contact Denise Gardiner at reei@indiana.edu or call 812-85Slavic and Eastern Europe-7309), not clear where it may be purchased.

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

Hungary: Land of Hospitality (1994)

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Recommended because this is an excellent survey of Hungary which includes Budapest, Lake Balaton, the medieval city of Pecs, horseback riding on the Great Plain, and the vineyards of Eger. Part of the very well-made “Video Visits” series (55 minutes). 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 may be purchased from Amazon.com for $25.

Media Type: Media

Ivan the Terrible (Ivan Groznyi)

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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

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

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Recommended because this unique portrait of Nobel prize-winning poet, essayist and controversial former dissident Joseph Brodsky 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. Availability: May be borrowed free of charge from the Harvard University National Resource Center for Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies. Apparently not available commercially.

Media Type: Media

Kanal (1957)

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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

Karel Ancerl: In Rehearsal and Performance

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Recommended because the legendary Czech conductor rehearses and performs Smetana’s The Moldau with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. This 1969 CBC television production was made just before Ancerl assumed his post as director of the Toronto Symphony. (57 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), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

Kolya (1995)

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Recommended because this is a great film for viewing Czech life in the last years of the communist government, culminating in the overthrow of socialism. A confirmed bachelor is in for the surprise of his life when a get-rich-quick scheme backfires, setting off a wild set of circumstances, and leaving him with a pint-sized new roommate. Now, with a mischievous five year old named Kolya suddenly in his care, life in this once carefree playboy’s tiny apartment changes faster than he could ever imagine. Winner of the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Directed by Jan Sverak, stars Zdenek Sverak, Andrej Chalimon and Libuse Safrankova (105 minutes). In Czech 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

Korczak (1990)

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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

Kovno Ghetto: A Buried History (1997)

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Recommended because historian Martin Gilbert details the story of the Jewish community in Kovno, Lithuania’s capital until 1939 when first Stalin annexed it, followed by the Nazis, then Stalin again. Photos shot with a hidden camera, testimony from 18 survivors, and archival film attest to the courage of a people faced with death who refused to die (115 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 International Historic Films for $25.

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

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

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

Logging Siberia

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Recommended because this is a fine documentary on the environmental battle to save the largest and perhaps most important of the world’s ancient forests–the vast coniferous forests of Siberia in eastern Russia (28 minutes). Be aware of the fact that this film may be borrowed free from the Ohio State University Center for Slavic and East European Studies (call 614-292-8770 or write to Keisel.1@osu.edu), or can be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $125.

Media Type: Media

Man of Iron (1981)

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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

Marina Tsvetayeva

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Recommended because Marina Tsvetayeva was one of the great poets of the 20th century and a contemporary of Akhmatova, Pasternak, Mandelstam, and Mayakovsky. She lived through World War I, the Revolution, the Civil War, and the Moscow Famine, and then in exile in Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, and internal exile back in the Soviet Union. Determined to remain apolitical, she became a victim of her convictions. Her husband became an NKVD agent in Paris and her daughter a staunch Communist. She was shunned by the Russian

Media Type: Media

Modest Mussorgsky

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Recommended because this is a biography of noted Russian composer who lived from 1839-1881 and whose best-known works include “Pictures at an Exhibition” and “Night on Bald Mountain” (30 minutes). In English. Part of the “Great Composer series,” 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

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

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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 Name is Ivan (1962)

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Recommended because the great director Andrei Tarkovsky’s first feature film is the story of a boy (Ivan) who is deprived of his childhood by the harsh realities of the Nazi-Soviet war. Though only a boy, Ivan becomes a battle-hardened partisan who at times appears more mature than the adults surrounding him. The child participates in several military operations as a spy for the Soviet army. This activity has little military implication, however, because he carries no weapon and does not engage in combat. He definitely hates the Germans but it is his love for Mother Russia, epitomized by the image of his mother that drives his actions. (black & white, 84 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

My Prague Spring (1993)

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Recommended because this wry, intimate, award-winning portrait of a family was filmed in Prague shortly after the fall of Communism. It examines the effects of this historic transformation through the eyes of a young American of Czech descent and his Czech relations, as they come to terms with the values of capitalism. English and Czech with English subtitles (81 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), or for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $50.

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

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov

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Recommended because this is a 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). In English. Part of the “Great Composer series,” 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

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

Oh, Bloody Life! (1985)

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Recommended because this film contains great political and social satire from a a Hungarian point of view. Set in the 1950′s during the Stalinist era, Bacso’s daring film concerns the deportation of Hungarian citizens who have done nothing wrong. The film is remarkable not only for its courageous depiction of political events, but for his black comedy. Directed by Peter Bacso (115 minutes). In Hungarian 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

One World: The Baltic States (1997)

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Recommended because this is a recent documentary on the post-Soviet Baltic States, presenting multiple views on current issuesthe Soviet heritage, historical memories, ethnic minorities, business developments. Interviews include the President of Estonia, US Ambassador to Latvia, the Rector of Vilnius University and other national and international leaders, scholars, and cultural figures. 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

OSU Center for Slavic and East European Studies

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Ohio State University has probably the largest collection of East European Videos in the US that loans to educators throughout the US free of charge. To borrow films, call (614) 292-8770, or write to Maryann Keisel at keisel.1@osu.edu Start by reading the Center’s liberal lending policy. Be aware of the fact that videos are indexed by country and subject and are listed alphabetically. Large number of documentaries, but there are even more feature films.

Pan Tadeusz (1999)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

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

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

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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

Peter Tchaikovsky

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Recommended because this is a 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). In English. Part of the “Great Composer series,” 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

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 (Rand McNally) (1993)

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Recommended because this film enables the viewer to discover a nation with a reputation for Slavic hospitality and a rich tradition of courage and resilience. Journey to Warsaw, tour the palatial Royal Castle and the magnificent baroque Wilanow Palace, called the Polish Versailles. Visit Warsaw’s Lazienki Park and its monument to the composer, Frederic Chopin. Marvel at Malbork Castle, one of Europe’s largest medieval fortresses, then follow the Wisla River to charming Torun, birthplace of Copernicus, the father of astronomy. Tour the port city of Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity Trade Union, see its fine Gothic churches and the exquisite mansions along the Royal Route. Stop at Wroclaw, the city of bridges, then travel down the picturesque Trail of Eagles’ Nests where ruined castles crown the highlands. Discover Cracow, the seat of Polish kings. Relax in the arcaded court of graceful Wawel Royal Castle and pause in Wawel Cathedral whose Cardinal became Pope John Paul II (31 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), but apparently out of print.

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

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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

Polish Army Ensemble (1996)

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Recommended because this is a unique recording of the Paris performance of the Polish Army Ensemble. Featuring over fifty singers and dancers in the following numbers: Marche Triomphale, Salut, Victoire de Vienne, Kourdes, Mazur Imperial, J’aime le Monde, La Vaesovienne, Polonaise, Mazur, Romances et Chansons Galantes, Kujawiak, Oberek, Melodies de Silesie, Arrivee des Bergers, Danses des Montagnards, Chants de Cracovie, la Madelon, and C’est la Fete (64 minutes). In Polish with French 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 Polart for $25.

Media Type: Media

Polish Folk Dance and Songs (1994)

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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

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

Prague (1998)

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Recommended because this is an episode from the Discovery Channel series, The Travelers,” aimed for schoolchildren. Patrick, Robin, and Foster visit one of Europe’s most beautiful and well-preserved cities–Prague, Czech Republic. They hunt for mushrooms, stroll the picturesque Charles Bridge full of artists, jugglers, and hippies, and venture backstage and learn the secrets of Black Light Theatre (55 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), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Prague (Super Cities) (1995)

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Recommended because in this video, the viewer samples the rich legacy of Prague–the City of a Thousand Spires. Rare among European cities, Prague survived World War II almost intact, a well-preserved 18th century city. Its glorious architecture and magnificent sights such as the famous Astronomical Clock make Prague one of the most beautiful cities in the world. For 40 years Prague lay locked behind the Iron Curtain; today visitors can explore this long-hidden treasure (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 Facets Multimedia for $10.

Media Type: Media

Princess Frog (Tsarevna-liagushka) (1954)

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Recommended because this is the cartoon version of the Russian fable by the same name. A handsome and kind prince must overcome numerous obstacles to reverse the spell that has transformed a princess into a frog. Directed by M. Tsekhanovskii. Also included on this tape is “V nekotorom tsarstve.” Collection number 37 in the Soyuzmul’tfil’m series. In Russian. 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); not clear if it is still available commercially.

Media Type: Media

Pysanka: A Story of the Ukrainian Easter Egg

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Recommended because it explains the importance of Easter eggs in Ukrainian folklore as well as demonstrates how the eggs are crafted (10 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), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Red Empire (1990)

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Recommended because this is a fine seven-part history of the Soviet Union which combines documentary film footage and interviews with participants in important historical events. Introduced by Robert Conquest with Geoffrey Hosking as historical consultant. Each film is about 54 minutes long. Produced in the United Kingdom. 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.

Volume I: Revolutionaries. Russia to the October Revolution in 1917

Volume II: Winners & Losers. The Civil War to Lenin’s Death in 1924

Volume III: Class Warriors. Collectivization and Industrialization

Volume IV: Enemies of the People. Great Purges of the late 1930s

Volume V: Patriots. The Soviet-Nazi War, 1941-45

Volume VI: Survivors. From 1945 through the Khrushchev Era

Volume VII: Prisoners of the Past. From Brezhnev to Gorbachev

Media Type: Media

Return of the Czar (2000)

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Recommended because this is a documentary on post-Soviet Russia from the series “Frontline.” Almost a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is arguably more free than at any time in its history. But while the West has applauded the market reforms of former President Boris Yeltsin, in Russia there has been collapse. Today, as the country is being militarized, anti-Western propaganda is increasing. In pushing its ideas of reform, did the U.S. turn a blind eye to Kremlin illegality and compromise the moral authority America cultivated throughout the Cold War? As career KGB officer Vladimir Putin-Yeltsin’s anointed successor-is set to ascend to Russia’s presidency, Frontline takes an in-depth look at what Russia has become and why. Original air date, May 9, 2000 (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); apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

River of Joy: A Celebration of Ukrainian Christianity

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Recommended because this is a multi-denominational overview of the history of Christianity in Ukraine set in the context of the liturgical, iconographic, architectural, and spiritual treasures of Eastern Christianity. An excellent introduction to Ukrainian culture and history. Produced in Canada (53 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 Yevshan for $26.

Media Type: Media

Russia and the Other Former Soviet Republics in Transition (1998)

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Recommended because this six-part videotape, “Russia and the Other Former Soviet Republics in Transition” is a valuable educational tool for high school and college instructors that combines news and historical footage with interviews of several former Secretaries of State and Defense, former Russian Foreign Kozyrev and other experts. Each of the six fifteen-minute programs is designed to be used in conjunction with the accompanying instructional guide (90 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

Russia Today: Daily Life (1995)

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Recommended because this video is intended to acquaint students in grades Slavic and Eastern Europe-8 with life in the new “Russia.” The program introduces the country once known as the Soviet Union through the eyes of four teenagers from Moscow, Kiev (Ukraine), and St. Petersburg (15 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

Russia Under the Tsars: Music for a Nation

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Recommended because this is a good documentary film. The preceding program, The Search for a Voice, ended with the Crimean War; this one begins in 1881, the year in which Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and Tchaikovsky

Media Type: Media

Russia Under the Tsars: Music for the World

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Recommended because the musical era that began at the turn of the 20th century was filled with turbulent change: virtuoso performers like Scriabin and Heifetz emerged from the conservatories, and one world-class composer followed another. In many ways, the Composer’s Corner of Leningrad’s Lavra Cemetery sums up the story of Russian music, but Rachmaninov and Stravinsky lived abroad, showing that Russian music had entered the Western world on its own terms. Stravinsky and Schoenberg turned out to be the giants of their time, pushing music towards further and further limits. Musical contents include sections of Rachmaninov: Second Piano Concerto; Scriabin: “Po

Media Type: Media

Russia Under the Tsars: The Search for a Voice

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Recommended because the Russianness of Russian music derives from folk song and the music of the Orthodox church, the characteristic modes, the sounds of bells, the unison a cappella voices of the Russian liturgy, sources not mined until Glinka laid down the foundations of a Russian school of music, almost single-handedly. This program traces the cultural history of Russia from the 17th century, covering the cultural role of the tsars, the building of St. Petersburg, the enthusiasm for France (cut short by the Napoleonic invasion), and the role of Pushkin and, above all, of Glinka. Musical contents include sections of Glinka: A Life for the Tsar, Kamarinskaya, Cherubimskaya; the so-called Rostov Action (53 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

Russia: Discovering Russia (1995)

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Recommended because part of the “Video Visits” series, this well-made travelogue not only vividly shows the diverse Russian landscape and major Russian cities, it effectively integrates Russian culture and history into the film as well. Highly recommended for classroom use as an introduction to Russia (60 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 Access Russia for $25.

Media Type: Media

Russian and Ukrainian Jews

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Recommended because after decades of oppression, Judaism is experiencing a revival in Russia and Ukraine, aided by the Western and Israeli Jewish communities. This program shows some remarkable footage of worship in a Lubavitch synagogue in Moscow, which has attracted many young Jews to Orthodox Judaism. By contrast, in the Ukrainian town of Chernovtse, only one synagogue survives out of the 80 that existed less than 40 years ago. The program poignantly documents the last of the town’s aged practicing Jews. (30 minutes, color). 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

Russian Avant Garde Art (1980)

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Recommended because this is a high-quality documentary that resulted from the exhibition, “The Avant-Garde in Russia, 1910-30: New Perspectives,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1980. This museum gathered a large collection of Russian Avant-Garde works from museums throughout the Western world. Narration by Hugh Downs gives insight into both Russian history and the history of art in general, as well as Russian Avant-Garde art in particular (89 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), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

Russian Ballet: The Glorious Tradition (1993)

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Recommended because this is a comprehensive collection of performances by many of the greatest ballet stars of this century. Composed of rare films never before seen outside of Russia, this three-volume retrospective is unique in its scope, revealing the technical and stylistic achievements of the foremost exponents of Russian dance. Captions 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 Facets Multimedia for $40 (for each tape).

Volume I: 1971-91 Begins with a look at the artistry of the young Mikhail Baryshnikov just on the brink of his major international career in 1971. It concludes with the young Bolshoi ballerina Nadezda Gracheva. Other highlights include the brilliant “Le Corsaire” pas de deux danced by Nina Ananiashvili and Andris Liepa in their first commercially available video tape performance; the “Nutcracker” pas de deux with Igor Zelinsky; and a very rare “Swan Lake” pas de deux with one of the legends of Russian ballet, Alla Osipenko (65 minutes).

Volume II: 1914-88 Traces the history of Russian ballet over a period of nearly seventy-five years. Drawing on archival material dating back to 1914, it begins with rare footage of Vera Karalli dancing the Dying Swan, and continues with films from the 1940s featuring Marina Semenova, Natalia Dudinskaya,a nd others. Moving through the decades, we see such legendary dancers as Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, and Mikhail Gabovich. The program is capped by the “Don Quixote” Act Three grand pas de deux, danced with breathtaking virtuosity by Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev (71 minutes).

Volume III: 1940-93 Includes early footage of Galina Ulanova, Maya Plisetskaya, Natalia Makarova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Yuri Soloviev. Two selections feature the artistry of Ekaterina Maximova, including an extended excerpt from “Giselle.” Nadezhda Gracheva and Andrey Uvarov, two of the ballet world’s current stars, are seen in the brilliant grand pas de deux from “Sleeping Beauty,” which closes the program (67 minutes).

Media Type: Media

Sasha Litvin of Russia (1995)

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Recommended because this is a portrait of nine year-old Sasha who goes to a special school for the performing arts in St. Petersburg. This film follows Sasha in his daily activities, from the time he gets up in the morning, through his day at school and including sights of his city. An introduction to the geography and culture of St. Petersburg as shown through the life of a school boy (15 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

Savoniha: A Siberian Old Believer (1997)

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Recommended because Savoniha belongs to the “Old Believers,” a sect of the Russian Orthodox Church that was exiled to Siberia many centuries ago. 95 years old, she witnessed Stalin’s anti-religious campaign, losing her father — one of the main spiritual representatives of the Siberian Old Believers (30 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

Sergei Rachmaninov

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Recommended because this is a biography of the great Russian composer and pianist who lived from 1874-1943, and who left Russia in 1917, never to return (30 minutes). In English. Part of the “Great Composer series,” 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

Shop on Main Street (1965)

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Recommended because this film, which is set during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during World War Two, is a tragi-comedy about a Slovak carpenter who is offered the job of “Aryan controller” of a button shop owned by an elderly Jewish lady. After an unlikely friendship develops between them, the “controller” is forced to choose between protecting his helpless friend from her persecutors or saving his own skin. 1965 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, directed by Jan Kadar (128 minutes). In Slovak 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

Siberiade (1979)

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Recommended because this film illustrates the history of Siberia from just before the outbreak of revolution in 1917 to the 1960s is dramatized in this film epic focusing on two families in a remote Siberian village. Elements of mysticism are mixed liberally with history, and ecology becomes a major theme in the second half of the film. Directed by Andrei Mikhailkov-Konchalovsky (204 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

Stalin (1992)

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Recommended because of its international cast headed by Robert Duvall, authentic Russian locations and superb direction by the Czech emigre Ivan Passer are the hallmarks of this made-for-cable biography of Stalin. The film is an exploration of Stalin’s iron-fisted rule. A bit simplistic, but this makes it more accessible, so it is suitable for secondary school classroom use (165 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 Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

Stalin, Joseph (1999)

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Recommended because Joseph Stalin held absolute power over the Soviet Union for 29 years. His legacy arguably surpasses even Hitler’s — he sent over 20 million of his own countrymen to their deaths! This comprehensive portrait revisits the life of Stalin through Soviet archival film and a collection of interviews. Biographers Robert Conquest and Edvard Radzinsky explore his disastrous reforms, including the collectivization of agriculture and his massive purges. Former interpreter Valentin Berezhkov offers a first-person view of the dictator, while purge victim Dr. Janusz Bardach talks about his time in the Gulag. And Mikhail Gorbachev explores the rise, rule and legacy of the most infamous of all his predecessors. Here is a history of one of the most important, compelling and hated men in history. USA (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), or for purchase from International Historic Films for $20.

Media Type: Media

Struggles for Poland

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Recommended because this is a high quality documentary history of Poland in the Twentieth century. Five parts. 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. Once Upon a Time, 1900-1923, 0 Dawn, 1921-1939; Different World, 1919-1943, Occupation, 1939-1945; Friends and Neighbors, 1939-1945, Bright Days of Tomorrow, 194Slavic and Eastern Europe-1956; Sweepers of Squares, 1956-1970, In This Life, 1900-1979; The Workers’ State, 19Middle East-Present

Media Type: Media

Sunshine (1999)

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Recommended because Ralph Fiennes, William Hurt, Rachel Weisz and Deborah Kara Unger star in this epic drama from Istvan Szabo. Main actor Fiennes plays three roles — father, son, and grandson in a Budapest family that struggles to survive the anti-Semitism that permeates the generations of each man. The film does a marvelous job of recreating the details of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Nazi and Communist eras in Hungary (180 minutes). Highly recommended. 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 Facets Multimedia for $96.

Media Type: Media

Take it Easy (Nie Ma Mocnych) (1973)

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Recommended because this film is the second in a comedy trilogy (also ‘All Friends Here’ and ‘Big Deal’) about two quarreling peasant families, the Karguls and the Pawlaks, who after being left homeless by the Second World War settle, by accident, on neighboring farms. The quarrel, however, ends with the happy marriage of their children. This film begins eighteen years later when the old quarrels have been forgotten and both farmers work peacefully. But a new problem keeps them awake at night — they have no successors to inherit their farms. Finally they invent a clever plan — their grand daughter, Ann, now eighteen, will take over both farms after her marriage. But neither Kargul nor Pawlak can rest until their plan is realized. Directed by Sylwester Checinski (89 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

The Baltic Tragedy (1985)

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Recommended because of its graphic portrayal of World War Two in the Baltic states. Hitler’s war on Russia is shown in eleven original German wartime newsreels. The northern sector of the German’s eastern front, where ferocious battles were fought in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Finland, is featured. Four additional international documentaries — including a Soviet one — present a well-rounded picture of the tragic plight of the Baltic people’s during World War II (148 minutes). 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).

Media Type: Media

The Battle of Kosovo (Boj na Kosovu) (1989)

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Recommended because this Belgrade TV production on the Kosovo battle of 1389 artfully mixes historical fact with legend. This is the defeat by the Ottoman (Muslim) Turks that is still celebrated by Serbs today, and helps explain their strongly negative attitude to ethnic Albanians and Bosnian Muslims. The script for the original play was written by poet Ljubomir Simovic (115 minutes). In Serbo-Croatian 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

The Bratsk Sea (2001, 50 minutes)

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Recommended because this documentary looks at the social disaster that came along with the construction of a power plant in the city of Balagansk under the orders of the Soviet Union’s Communist planners during the early ’60s. Residents were sold on the project through propagandist news reporting, but the reality fell far short of the dream. The relocated residents found their new land had inferior soil, leading to farm production shortages, lack of water and other serious problems. In English. 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), or may be purchased from Facets Multimedia for $30.

Media Type: Media

The Captives Sons (Rab Ember Fiai) (1983)

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Recommended because this film drama is set in 18th Century Transylvania (present day western Romania, but at the time, part of Hungary). Recommended as an adventurous tale of two brothers determined to prove their fathers innocence during the Hungarian Turkish rule. Directed by Miklos Markos (80 minutes). In Hungarian 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), but apparently now out of print.

Media Type: Media

The Chekist (1992)

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Recommended because this is a feature film on the early Soviet secret police. In 1917, secret police from the KGB forerunner, C.H.E.K.A., unleashed a reign of terror on all those considered enemies of the revolution. A Cheka officer interrogates, judges and then executes a wide variety of people who cannot fit into the new Soviet system, from Christians and Jews to former aristocrats. Very violent, but unfortunately, also very realistic (165 minutes). In Russian with English subtitles. Available for purchase from Facets Multimedia for $40.

Media Type: Media

The Color of Pomegranates (1969)

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Recommended because this is one of the few feature films about Armenia. This film was originally banned by Soviet censors who feared it was a nationalistic parable. It depicts the life and spiritual odyssey of the 16th century Armenian poet and troubadour Sayat Nova, and his rise from carpet weaver to archbishop and martyr. When Sayat Nova tragically fell in love with a Prince’s courtesan, he was banished to spend the rest of his life in a monastery. He embraced his new life in the church and eventually became archbishop of Armenia. When Armenia was ravaged by Persian invaders, Nova died defending the nation’s cathedral. This movie avoids the literal retelling of this epic story, instead lyrically transposing the spirit of Nova’s poetry to the screen with a series of linked tableaux depicting the poet’s soul rather than the mere details of his life. The result is a feast of moving icons–visually arresting images that linger and resonate long after the film has ended. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov (80 minutes). In Armenian 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

The Coward (1962)

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Recommended because this film is set in a remote Slovak village during the waning days of World War II, this riveting film by Jiri Weiss is recommended as a probing moral study of heroism. “Who is a hero?” asks Weiss, “the man who sits at home and does nothing or the man who is always ready to fight for a cause?” A school teacher and his young wife find a wounded Russian parachutist in their front yard just as the Germans occupy the village. As the wife readily becomes involved with the anti-Nazi partisans, the school teacher collaborates with the Germans, but at the end of his humiliation, finds the courage to save his honor and the innocent victims of the Nazis. Directed by Jiri Weiss (B&W, 113 minutes). In Slovak 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

The Cowboy (A Csikos) (1996)

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Recommended because this musical is a love story in the 19th century on the Hungarian plains the Puszta. The story is simple, a love triangle where our hero succeeds and the bad guy gets his punishment, spiced with lots of Hungarian folk music and dancing. A delicacy for Hungarian folklore lovers. Directed by Eva Zsurzs, stars Zoltan Kiss Barabas and Bernadett Gregor (90 minutes). In Hungarian 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), apparently not available commercially.

Media Type: Media

The Death of Ales Martinu (1992)

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Recommended because this is a documentary on skinheads and racism in immediate post-Communist Czechoslovakia. Contains extensive footage of skinheads who describe their outlook and reasons for hating gypsies, blacks and other groups (28 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 The Video Project for $125.

Media Type: Media

The Departure (Odjazd) (1992)

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Recommended because this is the story of a woman and her mother who are ethnic Germans from the Masurian Lakes region in what was Germany (East Prussia) before 1945, but what became Poland after the war ended. The film portrays ethnic tensions between Germans and Poles, and also gives insight into the history of the Masurian Lakes region from just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War to just before the collapse of communism in Poland in the late 1980s. Clearly the prime purpose of the film is to show that Germans, along with Poles, were victims of World War II. Directed by Magdalena and Piotr Kazarkiewiczowie (115 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 Polart for $40.

Media Type: Media

The Doll (Lalka) (1969)

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Recommended because this is a historical film set in Warsaw in 1872. Based on the novel by Boleslaw Prus. Story of love and the tragedy of unfulfilled desire and ambition. Wealthy, ambitious middle-aged merchant is overwhelmed by obsessive and destructive passion for Izabela Lecka, who is intrigued by his strong personality but cannot fully appreciate him. Directed by Wojciech Has (159 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

The Ethnic Cleansers and the Cleansed: The Unforgiving (1998, 78 minutes)

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Recommended because of the insight it provides into the civil war in Bosnia of the early 1990s. In Serb-held eastern Bosnia, a Serbian couple desperately try to learn how their 11-year-old son was murdered and where his remains might be. The only clue is a Muslim prisoner, a family acquaintance before the time of ethnic cleansing. Does he know what happened? Why should he help? Was he himself the murderer? With all the force of a Greek tragedy, this film follows the inexorable process of human self-destruction, but there is no catharsis here, for we are observing not myth, but contemporary history. As this harrowing documentary makes clear, unspeakable grief in time becomes commonplace and atrocities are not the preserve of one side or another. 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); apparently no longer available commercially.

Media Type: Media

The Face of Russia (1998)

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Recommended because this is a very good three part documentary (with each part described in this section) on Russian art and culture, written and hosted by James Billington, Librarian of Congress, and author of “The Icon and the Axe,” a classic text on Russian culture. 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 the three video set may be purchased from Amazon.com for $80 (episodes can be purchased separately for $30). The three parts are: ” The Face on the Firewood: Part 1,” “The Face of Power: Part 2,” and “Facing the Future: Part 3.”

Media Type: Media

The Fall of Berlin (1949)

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Recommended because this is one of the all-time best examples of Soviet Socialist Realism on film, this movie gives the official Stalinist version of how the Soviets defeated the Germans in the Second World War. Contains rare portrayals of Stalin as the “Great Leader” wished himself to appear. Also featured is the story of a young Russian couple and how their lives are dramatically affected by the war. The model steel worker becomes an exemplary soldier and the school teacher is captured by the Germans and forced into slave labor. The film starts in the “happy” days just before the German invasion of June 22, 1941, portrays the battles of Moscow and Stalingrad, and ends only after the Soviet capture of the Reichstag in Berlin, and Stalin’s triumphant entry into the city where he appears before a jubilant and adoring crowd in the film’s final scene (approximately 3 hours). 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), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

The Firebird (1991)

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Recommended because this film is animated, part of the “Rabbit Ears” series of children’s stories. This ia a Russian legend about an archer named Ivan and his inseperable companion, the Horse of Power. When Ivan brings a golden feather from the Firebird to the Tsar, he is ordered to present the entire bird, or lose his life. Then he is commanded to retrieve the princess Vassilisa from the end of the earth so that the Tsar might marry her. When the archer Ivan falls in love with the princess, he and the Horse of Power must find a way to thwart the Tsar. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, original music by Mark Isham, animation done in Russia (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 Facets Multimedia for $20.

Media Type: Media

The Hermitage: A Russian Odyssey (1994)

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Recommended because this is an excellent three-part Christian Science Monitor tour of the renowned Russian art museum in Saint Petersburg, providing a course in Russian history in the process. Narrated by Rod MacLeish. 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); each episode may be purchased from Amazon.com for $30 each.

Volume One–Catherine the Great: A Lust for Art

With stunning art and dramatic readings from Catherine the Great’s diaries, this program investigates a self-professed “glutton for beauty” who feasted daily on Rembrandts, Rubenses, and Brueghels. Like her predecessor Peter the Great, Catherine ruled Russia with an insatiable appetite for Western culture. She cunningly purchased massive art collections from Europe’s monarch, then created the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace (1754-62) to house her treasures. In less than 40 years she acquired more masterpieces than the Louvre had amassed in four centuries (54 minutes).

Volume Two–Tyrants and Heroes

This episode covers the Nineteenth Century Russian Czars. This includes the war against Napoleon when Russian officers lingered in Paris (1814-15), absorbing Western ideas and buying artwork; the autocratic reign of Nicholas I who fiercely repressed the people yet lavished money on the Hermitage; the progressive rule of Aleksandr II, which ended tragically in murder; and Alexander III’s reign of terror (54 minutes).

Volume Three–From Czars to Commissars: A Museum Survives

The horrors of revolution and war play counterpoint to breathtaking works by Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso. When Nicholas II succumbed to the revolution and Lenin came to power, the Hermitage became the world’s largest museum, increased by thousands of works previously held in private collections. In a shocking turn of events, Stalin, Lenin’s successor, sold many of the museum’s irreplaceable treasures for cash. Yet, the Hermitage survived Stalin, as well as World War II when two thirds of its collection were transported safely out of Leningrad before the Nazi siege. The program then moves forward chronologically through the decades leading to the fall of communism in Russia (55 minutes).

Media Type: Media

The Hungarian Reformed Church

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Recommended because this is a documentary on Hungarian Protestant Christianity. Shot in Budapest, Debrecen, and the beautiful Great Plain, this program explores the link between Calvinism, with its belief in predestination, and Hungarian nationhood. Speaking with ordinary believers and such public figures as the Prime Minister and Bishop Laszlo T

Media Type: Media

The Inner Circle (1992)

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Recommended because this is a feature film that sheds light on what life was like in Stalinist Russia. He was neither a soldier nor a spy, but the KGB made Ivan Sanshin an eyewitness to history. For 50 years he has waited to tell his true story. Like their countrymen, Ivan and his beautiful young wife Anastasia idolized their leader, Joseph Stalin. But when Ivan is hired to become the Kremlin film projectionist, they see the brutal truth behind the dictator’s propaganda. Alternatively protected and menaced by the lecherous head of the KGB, Ivan and Anastasia are asked to betray everything they hold dear–their ideals, their foster child, even each other. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky (139 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), but apparently out of print.

Media Type: Media

The Roman Catholic Church in Poland

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Recommended because arguably, no European country has suffered more throughout its history than Poland. This program captures some of the intensity behind Catholic worship in Poland, where the Church has been one of the main factors in preserving a sense of Polish identity. Interviews with Solidarity activists recall the Church’s struggle in the 1980s, in particular the martyrdom of the young Father Popielsku. The program also looks at the role of the Church in the political life of post-Communist Poland. (30 minutes, color). 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. Bill Wolf Last Modified: 04/08/2004

Media Type: Media

The Russian Federation: A Nation in Transition (1995)

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Recommended because this video-based program is designed to acquaint students in grades 9-12 with life in the “New Russia.” The program introduces the Russian Federation and its largest neighbor, Ukraine, through the eyes of four teenagers from Moscow, Kiev and St. Petersburg. Topics include: geography and weather, food, housing, family life, entertainment, school, the variety of people, politics, economics, friendships and an uncertain future. Also comes with a teacher’s guide (22 minutes). Produced by New Leaf Media. 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

The Shooting Party (Moi laskovyi i nezhnyi zver’) (1977)

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Recommended because this is a drama in film version based on a story (“Drama na okhote”) by Chekhov. The story of a magistrate who, unable to admit his love for a woodsman’s daughter, watches as she marries an estate manager and falls into a loveless affair with the estate’s owner, a decadent count. Directed by Emil Loteanu, stars Galya Belyaeva, Oleg Yankovsky, Kirill Lavrov, and Leonid Markov (105 min). 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), but no longer available commercially.

Media Type: Media

The Toth Family (1970)

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Recommended because this is one of the most popular Hungarian comedies of all time. Tot, the fire brigade leader in a small village, receives a letter from his son, a soldier in the Second World War, informing him that his son’s commander will visit the village and spend his leave with the Tot family. The eccentric major nearly drives the whole family crazy in this comedy adapted from the story by Istvan Orkenyi. Directed by Zoltan Fabri, stars Zoltan Latinovits, Ivan Darvas, Sinkovits Imre, Marta Fonay, and Vera Venczel (100 minutes). In Hungarian 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 European Video Distributors for $30.

Media Type: Media