Soviet Story (2008)





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Critic Reviews for Soviet Story

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

The filmmaking in The Soviet Story is so overwrought that at times the movie comes across as comical.

Full Review… | October 24, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

An offensively schlocky treatment of an important subject, The Soviet Story turns Stalin's systematic starvation and slaughter of millions into a hopped-up horror flick.

October 22, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

For anyone who possesses interest in the history of wartime Europe, this disturbing and tragic documentary needs to be studied.

May 11, 2010
Film Threat

Soviet Story does a thorough job of laying out what happened, but its dull, educational-style format doesn't guide us to the next step of why we should care.

Full Review… | October 28, 2008
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Soviet Story

[i]Soviet Story[/i] acts as an effective corrective to the popular notion that the Communist experiment only turned horrific when Stalin ascended to power. The film documents orders mandating mass executions, estimated in the tens of millions, originating with the father of the revolution, Lenin. Still, it is devilishly difficult to outdo Stalin’s sheer capacity for terror. For instance, the deliberate use of famine to pacify Ukraine is explained here in chilling detail. In a crime against humanity largely ignored by the West, seven million Ukrainians were intentionally starved in the cordoned Republic, as foodstuffs were confiscated at gunpoint by the Red Army. The heart of [i]Soviet Story[/i] explores the close ideological similarities and barbaric collusion between the Soviet Socialists of Stalin and the National Socialists of Hitler. There is an eerie sequence juxtaposing thematically similar propaganda posters from both regimes, side-by-side on-screen. Even more damning are the documents Snore uncovers establishing close links between the SS and the Soviet NKVD (the precursor to the KGD), discussing among other issues, the “Jewish Question.” They did not just talk. They carved up Poland between themselves, and at Stalin’s prompting, staked their claims to the rest of Europe. [i]Soviet Story[/i] is most devastating when discussing the ways in which the more advanced Soviet killing machine served as the inspiration and model for the Holocaust. According former Soviet intelligence officer Viktor Suvorov: “A delegation of German Gestapo and SS came to the Soviet Union to learn how to build concentration camps.” Snore has produced a chilling indictment of the Soviet experience with Socialism. He calls some very convincing witnesses, including Bukovsky, and the eloquent Cambridge historians Norman Davies and George Watson. As evidence, he produces some shocking archival film and documents. However, as the film makes clear, none of those who did (and However, as the film makes clear, none of those who did (and still do) the Soviet dirty work has ever faced justice for their crimes. All told, Snore has produced a passionate but thoroughly reasoned case against the bloodiest regime of the twentieth century. His only misstep is the periodic use of animated titles, which feel like the commercial bumpers in a History Channel special. While this is a period of history I consider myself well versed in, Communist oppression was so ruthless and pervasive, [i]Soviet Story[/i] was able to catalogue many fresh horrors I was not previously aware of. Probably the scariest aspect of the film is its timeliness, releasing as the Putin regime increasingly embraces its Stalinist roots. Everybody who wishes to continue thinking themselves well-informed should see this film. Since [i]Soviet Story[/i] should be seen by a wide audience, I highly recommend seeing it opening weekend, when a strong showing could help it secure further distribution. [i]Soviet Story[/i] opens in New York this Friday at the Village East Cinema.

Anna Zergo
Anna Zergo

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