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Flagg Taylor and I recently gave a lecture on cinema and totalitarianism at the Victims of Communism Museum in D.C., which you can, alongside more than 1,000 people, listen to at the link below. Flagg has worked with VoC before, we will be doing events with them again in the future, and we’ve both helped with their curricula for teaching teachers how to deal with Communism, the lessons intended for high-school students.
In this case, we tried to show that cinema has a much better grasp on historical problems and national character than most sources of public opinion, that the combination of talented artists and true stories is very useful for education, and that we can come to understand a lot about what made Communism evil and what the consequences are today if we look at the stories told by the best artists available.
We chose two recent works of cinematic art, partly because we’re living through a remarkable growth in very good movies about communism. The 2020 Konchalovsky movie, Dear Comrades, and the 2019 HBO mini-series Chernobyl. This way, we also tried to give a vision of Soviet history from the ‘60s to the ‘80s, to explain the staying power and the collapse of the regime.
You can watch the video at this link.Published in