Soviet Power

Institute History

  • 1989 Sundance Film Festival


In the USSR, much of the energy of the “cinema of glasnost” has been generated by documentary filmmaking, responding quickly—more quickly than its dramatic cousins—to the urgent mandate to present a fresh and uninhibited Soviet reality.

Marina Goldovskaya’s highly controversial Soviet Power examines the hitherto unspoken phenomenon of the gulag system: the notorious camps for political prisoners. Soviet Power looks specifically at the period from 1923 to 1939 and the prewar terror of the Stalin regime. Former prisoners, the few who’ve survived, recall and reflect upon their experiences. Although the outside world has known about the gulags since Nobel-prizewinner Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, Soviet Power is the first internal examination of the camps, or even admission of their existence. It is bracing in its revelations and far-reaching in its condemnation.

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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