The crimes committed in the name of Marx and Engels are of the same infamous character as those performed by the nazis. The two regimes, nazi Germany and communist Stalinistic Soviet Union worked together, and learned from each other when it came to extermination matters. 20 million people were killed during the Soviet Union. And yet Europe has never really approached the Soviet leaders or their Russian successors to demand a public recognition of the massmurdering that was done in their own country. On the contrary the Russia of Putin on many occasions looks back at the glorious times of the big empire. Many of the butchers have never been taken to trial for their crimes.
This is the approach of a documentary made by a filmmaker and historian from Latvia, one of the former Soviet republics. The film includes (horrifying) archive material and is built in the classical way for historical documentaries: archive, commentary (for my taste far too bombastic and conclusive), witnesses who experienced the kiling of their family and historical experts from different places in Europe. Powerful music, effects, corpses, mass graves, corpses, mass graves.
Yes, the director makes his point, and he has done a huge and impressive research in archives. It’s a film you can not escape from and it would be wrong to evaluate according to artistic criteria. It’s a film that is for public and global tv channels and I suppose a shorter version will be available.
Latvia, 85 mins.