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Decoding Leviathan
February 23, 2015

Decoding Leviathan

By Diana Bruk

Leviathan is not, as virtually every mainstream critic has presumed, “anti-Russian.” I watched the movie resolutely prepared to intensely dislike it. I fully believed it would shamelessly pander to an American public eager to see a film that demonized Putin and made the country seem like a hellish landscape of unsalvageable bleakness. But that was not at all the case. 

The Many Homelands of Sergei Parajanov
January 07, 2014

The Many Homelands of Sergei Parajanov

By Eugenia Sokolskaya

Start with an Armenian base, drop in some Tbilisi, some Moscow, some Kiev, stir in amazing cinematography and strong political convictions, season with a Siberian labor camp – and voila! You're getting close to the legendary filmmaker Sergei Parajanov.

Lyubov Orlova
January 03, 2012

Lyubov Orlova

By Lada Bakal

Lyubov Petrova Orlova was born January 29, 1902 and became the first Soviet movie star and sex symbol. She was also Stalin’s favorite film actress and a highly gifted singer. This is an extended biography of the artist (an abridged version ran in the JanFeb 2012 issue of Russian Life).

Chtenia 15 and Summer Movies
July 01, 2011

Chtenia 15 and Summer Movies

By Paul E. Richardson

In her introduction to the next issue of Chtenia (coming in July to a mailbox near you!), Tamara Edelman writes several Russian films set in summer, including a Mosfilm classic I Step through Moscow. "Summer," she writes, "is a time for growing up, a time for educating the senses, for better understanding one's self. It is a time for transformation."

On PBS this Month: The Great Famine
April 01, 2011

On PBS this Month: The Great Famine

By Paul E. Richardson

Today, Herbert Hoover – the 31st president of the United States (1929-1933) – is probably most associated with the onset and deepening of the Great Depression. Few know that prior to his presidency he was a successful international mining engineer (and had some lucrative investments in Russia before the Revolution), and later headed up the ARA (American Relief Administration), designed to deliver needed foreign aid to Belgium in the aftermath of World War I. 

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