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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Oscar Contender Women of the Gulag Meets its First Troll – A Gulag Denier

Our documentary film, Women of the Gulag, made the Academy’s short-list of ten documentary films contending for a place in the final five. That Russian-American director, Marianna Yarovskaya, is the first Russian documentary film maker in the history of the Russian Federation to make it so far in Oscar competition has attracted considerable attention in Russian media, especially its liberal sites. It did not take long however before it caught the attention of Russian Gulag deniers. A writer for viewed the film and concluded that the five female Gulag survivors, telling their story on camera were lying. Such things that they describe – the arbitrary sentences, the beatings, and arrest of innocent fathers and husbands – were made-up fantastic stories. Who could believe that a young woman sleeping in a tent at a freezing logging camp could wake up with a frog in her mouth? Surely viewers will not be taken in by such nonsense. Besides, director Yarovskaya is incompetent – a dupe of faux human-rights organizations, like Memorial. In the same edition, another Gulag-denier writes that the much-authenticated order 00447 that initiated the Great Terror is a fabrication of Russian human-rights organizations. So far, Russian mainstream media is waiting and watching, asking should Yarovskaya’s Women of the Gulag be treated as an accomplishment of Russian film makers or an attempt to sully the greatness of Russian history?

1 comment:

  1. " Everyone nowadays is terrified of Russia, talking about Russia, condemning Russia – but comparatively few make any attempt to find out what Russia is really about, culturally, socially, politically. Relatively few make an effort to know its history, other than the comic-book version." (Cynthia Haven)
    The Stalinist regime was never on trial. And not only in the USSR or Russia, but also in the world. And after perestroika, when Russia renounced the communist ideology, the Western countries granted Russia an indulgence for all crimes of the previous regime. Some years later the former KGB operative became the President of the new Russia. The question "Who is Mr. Putin," is still hanging in the air without an answer. Unfortunately, the payback time has come. Now we are discussing the degree of Russian influence on USA politics.
    It's time to recall the epigraph Hemingway has chosen to his novel:
    "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee"—John Donne.
    When choosing to ignore the past, be prepared to face the consequences. Do not be surprised you have been robbed if you welcomed the criminal to your house.
    Why today of all days, today, when we are concerned that Russia poses a threat to the world, we need to look back at the origins that rest in Stalin's times?
    It is true that Russia' appearance has dramatically changed. But while Russia has publicly denounced communism, it retained the inner essence of the former USSR's policy, which had always been a policy of deception and the seizure of new territories.
    That is why it is so important that Marianna Yarovskaya and Paul Gregory used their talents, courage and passion to get us back in the days of the Gulag and told the world a story of Women of the Gulag. They have chosen to tell the truth about the Stalinist system through the lips of innocent women who suffered from all the repressions in the GULAG. I do hope the film will be the winner. Marianna and Paul do deserve Oscar recognition.
    At the first glance the events of the film are far removed from us. But it is not true. This is the account of the crimes on which the modern Russian policy and the system of power are based.
    The film hits where it hurts. And it is no surprise that the film was attacked by internet trolls and neo-stalinists of all kinds. They do not want people in the West to realize that Stalin’s policies were based on Deception. This policy of Deception is fully accepted and inherited by the modern rulers of Russia.
    The nature of this policy of deception and its catastrophic consequences to the world are discussed in detail in the book of the Canadian researcher A. Seidel "Stalin's Plan for the Expansion of Communism. 1927-1946" (
    The Stalinist policy of deception ended in success and led to the occupation of many countries and millions and millions of victims around the world. We must not allow those who continue to use the Stalinist methods in their policies to achieve the same. This film is a warning and an important step in preventing such a scenario.