Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Russia

NTV Vows To Show Controversial Film On WWII Anniversary

"I Served the Soviet Union," based on Leonid Menaker's novel "Lunch With the Devil," tells the story of gulag prisoners who succeed in repelling a Nazi attack after their camp's guards fled advancing German forces.
"I Served the Soviet Union," based on Leonid Menaker's novel "Lunch With the Devil," tells the story of gulag prisoners who succeed in repelling a Nazi attack after their camp's guards fled advancing German forces.
By Claire Bigg and Yelena Polyakovskaya
MOSCOW -- A Russian television channel says it will air a World War II film critical of Soviet troops in defiance of warnings from the Culture Ministry.

Minister Vladimir Medinsky sent a letter to the head of the NTV station this week asking him not to show the controversial film on June 22, the anniversary of the Soviet Union's invasion by Nazi Germany in 1941.

The film, titled "I Served the Soviet Union" and based on Leonid Menaker's novel "Lunch With the Devil," tells the story of gulag prisoners who succeed in repelling a Nazi attack after their camp's guards fled advancing German forces. The prisoners are eventually shot by Soviet NKVD troops.

Medinsky said airing the film on June 22, marked in Russia as the Day of Remembrance and Mourning, would be "an insult to veterans" and to the country's "historical memory."

The film, he added, "could cause a split in society."

Medinsky said that his ministry had received thousands of letters, including one from Communist Party State Duma Deputy Vladimir Simagin, asking that "I Served the Soviet Union" not be shown on television.

Simagin told RFE/RL that showing this film on the June 22 "day of mourning" was "doubly inhuman."

"People could get the impression that this was exactly the way the entire country lived during this period," he said. "It's like making a film about current times and showing people doing nothing but taking bribes and killing each other every day. It's an obvious distortion of facts and an insult."

'Propaganda Minister'

Despite being owned by the state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, NTV appears undeterred. The channel's spokeswoman said it would go ahead with the broadcast on June 22.

Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has been accused of adopting a Soviet-era approach to his job.Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has been accused of adopting a Soviet-era approach to his job.
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Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has been accused of adopting a Soviet-era approach to his job.
Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has been accused of adopting a Soviet-era approach to his job.
A number of media analysts and film critics have strongly condemned Medinsky and say his attempt to have the film pulled from television smacks of Soviet-era censorship.

Prior to his surprise appointment as culture minister, Medinsky was best known for penning a series of patriotic books called "Myths about Russia," prompting his detractors to label him Russia's new propaganda minister.

"An art work should not be judged for its documentary qualities," says film critic Yury Bogomolov.  "That's something people constantly do in Russia, unfortunately. It's a tradition that stems from Soviet-era propaganda."

This is not the first time Russian officials and veterans have sought to block films critical of the Soviet Army's role in World War II.

Last month, veterans convinced NTV not to show "Four Days in May," a film in which a Red Army officer tries to rape a German orphan in 1945.

Instead, the channel aired a Russian war action movie about the Soviet SMERSH counter-intelligence agency.

Written by Claire Bigg in Prague with reporting by Yelena Polyakovskaya in Moscow
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by: Mamuka
June 22, 2012 16:03
"It's like making a film about current times and showing people doing nothing but taking bribes and killing each other every day."

interesno...
In Response

by: Wunder Bus from: German Embassy in DC
June 23, 2012 03:01
http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/04__W__t__G/03/01/01__Destinations__Bus/__Upload__Form.html

This stupid advertisement campaign sponsored by the German Embassy in Washington, DC seems to coincide with Neo-Goebbelsonian propaganda pieces aired on NPR radio around May 9, June 22 and other important dates in WWII. The goal is to replace the fact that Nazi Germans killed 27+ MILLION Russians during WWII with some fictitious accounts of poor German women allegedly raped by some "Mongol-looking" Soviet troops. They succeed not only because of people's ignorance and disrespect for history, but because Germany pours lots of money into this scam.
In Response

by: Anonymous
June 23, 2012 18:01
Wunder Bus quit lying Russian bastard. Germans didn't kill 27+ million Russians. All together with Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Jews, Tatars, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Georgians, Azeri, Armenians, and other nations of the USSR maybe. Besides Germans there were other nations in the Axis fighting against the Soviets. Moreover, Russian NKVD were shooting retreating soldiers. That would be half of all casualties.

by: john from: canada
June 22, 2012 23:15
NTV, bored with harassing US Ambassador Michael McFaul, is loving this controversy - it will bring a LOT more viewers to the channel!

However, a fictional account of NKVD killings of loyal Gulag prisoner-soldiers just pales before the reality of how many thousands of Soviet and satellite -country citizens were murdered outright during WWII, more thousands dying enroute to unjust Gulag imprisonment, more thousands dying on eviction from their regions to other far-flung regions. Probably many more creative ways that the Soviet state used to kill innocents (military punishment battalions? entrapment in Leningrad?).

by: Jack from: US
June 23, 2012 13:31
the film could be watched on http://www.ntv.ru/
Just a few minutes of watching randomly selected episode convinced me it was a cheap Hollywood-style "action movie" with no resemblance to reality, just like in most American films. Actors are painted and paintbrushed, playing awfully, the whole set is incredibly stupid, overall, typical Hollywood sensentialized crap
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
June 24, 2012 08:24
A good point, Jack, it's just one more of those boring US-style movies that one can only watch through if one had a lot of coffee before.
One realy good movie on the WWII that I recently purchased in DVD via Amazon is the "Go and See" made by the Belorussian film-maker Elem Klimov in 1985 (the original title in Russian is "Idi i smotri"). It shows what the WWII on the Soviet (and most probably other) territories occupied by the Germans in the 1940s was like.
Ah, yes, and now I recall a Dutch movie on the same topic that I saw a few years ago called "De Tweeling" (translated as "Twin Systers" into English). It's another good example of what the role of the Germans here in Europe has historically been - be in on the Eastern or on the Western front.
Ref.: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/twin-sisters-2005/
http://www.kinoeye.org/04/04/woll04.php

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
June 24, 2012 07:57
You've got to add that the Russian peasants during the war, for example, is not afraid of the Germans but Soviet partisans -who robbed and killed them.
In the Soviet army were common -murder of colleagues, when,during the attack they were shot in the back.Do not shun the Soviet soldiers to slander, to send anonymous denunciations.
All this was encouraged by сommunist commanders..Thus, the Soviet army was the most vile and criminal in the world.
The whole truth about the Red Army,bandits аre trying to silence such as the odious personality Medinsky, it's well known that his credo -is a lie and forgery.

by: mjbeejr from: Massachusetts
July 08, 2012 17:25
Medinsky: "...an insult to veterans" and to the country's "historical memory." Really? Was not the true insult to Soviet WW II veterans their imprisonment and slaughter in "The Father's" gulag system upon returning from the war. And, could it possibly be that he and his comrades fear the voices of those ghost's in their damning history?

Additionally, the film, "could cause a split in society. "A split between who? Freedom loving people and those "hangers-on" who want to revive the "good old days."

I've read A. Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" more than once. The scenario depicted in "I Served the Soviet Union" is not a far fetched representation of gulag "life" according to Solzhenitsyn's accounts. Suppressing a movie will never cover-up the truth about Stalin's NKVD Checkists, headed by that monster, Lavrentiy Beria. And, it will not diminishes all the lies, the brutality and the heinous crimes perpetrated against the Soviet people.

This film depicts the aberration inherent in Communism. This system, which pits one human being against another, for the expressed purpose of saving one's own hide, is evil at it's core. To condemn another, at the point of a gun, is a horrible situation for the purest and bravest of men to contend with. Solzhenitsyn puts it well: “The battle line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.”

I suppose Medinsky doesn't care much for Solzhenitsyn either.

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