Outreach Film Collection


Films listed under the country/region were filmed in that country, are about that country/region, and/or are about that country's/region's people. Fictional films are in italics (the majority of our collection are documentaries). Click on a film title for more information about that specific film.

Afghanistan | Armenia | Balkans | Baltics | Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republic of) | Bulgaria | Central Asia | Caucasus | Croatia (Republic of) | Czech Republic | Eastern Europe | Estonia | (Former) East Germany | Georgia | Hungary | Kazakhstan | Kosovo | Kyrgyzstan | Latvia | Lithuania | Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of) | Mongolia | Poland | Romania | Russia | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovakia | Slovenia (Republic of) | (Former) Soviet Union | Turkey | Ukraine | Uzbekistan | (Former) Yugoslavia





Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of



Central Asia

Croatia, Republic of

Czech Republic (Formerly Part of Czechoslovakia)

Eastern Europe


East Germany (Former)








Macedonia, Former Yugoslavian Republic of





Serbia and Montenegro

Slovakia (Formerly Part of Czechoslovakia)

Slovenia, Republic of

(Former) Soviet Union




Former Yugoslavia


(Alphabetical by Title)

These films are documentaries, except where noted. This is a list of VHS videotapes and DVDs, which are located in The Ellison Center, 203B Thomson Hall, University of Washington. CHECKOUT INFORMATION: There is a TWO-WEEK checkout period (which may be extended with permission).

Abkhazia Mineclearance Programme, 1999 23 min - VHS
In Abkhazia mines were left over from the secessionist war with Georgia in 1992-93, which was characterized by front lines moving along the Black Sea coast from the Gumista River north of Sukhumi city to the Inguri River in the south. Mines were laid in flat and fertile valleys to augment the natural obstacles of the rivers. Although the war is over, these mines are now an obstacle to the repatriation of over 300,000 displaced people. Homes, agricultural land, orchards, and industrial estates lie deserted, contaminated by mines and UXOs. The economy, which was based on light industry, tourism, citrus fruits, and vineyards, is shattered. This documentary depicting the problem of mines and UXOs in Abkhazia, explains who and how they are affecting the British and US charity (HALO Trust's) efforts to tackle the problem with manual and mechanical mine clearance teams.

Afghanistan Mineclearance Programme, 1999 29 min - VHS
Afghanistan is probably the most mined country in the world, with HALO estimates of up to 640,000 mines laid since 1979. Afghanistan was heavily mined by Soviet forces during their 10 year occupation, by the communist regime of Najibullah and during localized internecine fighting between mujahideen groups. The greatest long-term effect on the civilian population was caused by the defense of the supply routes. This documentary depicting the problem of mines and Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan before September 11, 2001, explaining who and how they are affecting the local population and how the British and US charity (The HALO Trust) has been tackling the problem for the past ten years in the country in which they pioneered humanitarian mine clearance. With the departure of the Taliban, HALO is now expanding its capacity and clearing the last front lines.

Agents of Deception, 1987 60 min - VHS
Agents of Deception probes a top Soviet organization once devoted to media manipulation on a worldwide scale. Known as "disinformation," it flourished actively during the Cold War and affected anyone who read a newspaper or watched a newscast. Planted articles, half-truths, biased stories, secret funding of newspapers and journalists-such tactics were, and may still be, an everyday practice in the international struggle to control public opinion. Produced over a three-year period, this dynamic documentary resembles a best-selling thriller, but the situations are real.

Alexander Nevsky, 1938 (Fiction - Not Rated) 112 min - VHS
The film is about the Russian Commander Prince Alexander Yaroslavovich Nevsky under whose leadership the Russian warriors gained a historical victory in the battle against the Livon knights on Chudskoe Lake in 1242. Director Sergei Eisenstein recreated the epic tale of Prince Nevsky and his defeat of the invading Teutonic hordes. Russian with English subtitles.

Anastasia: Dead or Alive?, 1995 60 min - VHS
(NOVA) In 1918, the last Czar of Russia, his wife and children were brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks. 4 years later, a young woman surfaced in Berlin claiming to be the Czar's youngest daughter, Anastasia. NOVA tracks the investigation from a secret mass grave in Siberia to forensic DNA analysis, and discovers the surprising answer to a 75-year-old mystery. Directed by Michael Barnes.

Armand Hammer: A Life of Deception, 2002 50 min - VHS
Armand Hammer has been called many things: a capitalist, a communist, a philanthropist, a cheat, and a liar. The son of a Russian immigrant and founder of the American Communist Party, Hammer first found riches and notoriety as a businessman in the fledgling Soviet Union, where he used his operations to help launder money for the communist government. In a candid interview made shortly before his death, Hammer looks back at his long and eventful life. He recalls his financial successes in the Soviet Union and America, and his relationships with political figures, such as Lenin and Nixon. The story follows the entrepreneur's many ventures, including the Occidental Oil Company, and the interesting path that led to the Nobel Peace Prize. Archival news clips, photographs, and personal interviews tell the story of one of the 20th century's richest and most enigmatic figures. Produced by ABC News Productions for A&E Network.

Assassinations that Changed the World, 1996 3 hr. 20 min - VHS (2 videotapes)
After Trotsky was bludgeoned in the head with an ice ax, the Soviet Union hailed his killer as a hero. Hitler survived a briefcase bomb planted under a conference table only because an official complained about the lack of leg room. FDR had a near miss in 1933, when a gunman in a crowd was foiled by a quick-witted bystander. Chronicling about two dozen assassinations and unsuccessful attempts (mostly 20th century), this two-volume program recounts and often shows (with archival film and photographs, and colored drawings) the events, while historians consider the underlying reasons each was targeted, analyze the assassins and conspirators, and consider the national and international repercussions. Volume 1 includes such world figures as Franz Ferdinand, Rasputin, Tsar Nicholas II, Lenin, Trotsky, three Gandhis (Mohandas, Indira, and Rajiv), Sadat, and Rabin. American presidents comprise a large part of Volume 2, which also includes Huey Long, King, and Robert Kennedy.

At the Crossroads: Jews in Eastern Europe Today, 1989 59 min - VHS
A postwar search for identity in a rapidly changing landscape, with Klezmer Music as a guide. In 1939, the combined Jewish population of Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia was over 4 million, and is now just over 100,000. Yale Strom, musician, traveled with filmmaker Oren Rudavsky to Eastern Europe to explore the lives of Jews there. As Strom travels through Eastern Europe, we are shown the gap left by the Holocaust and a surprising is the revival of Jewish identity.

Auschwitz, Inside the Nazi State, 2005 300 min - DVD (2 disc set)
Available as a two disc DVD set, this 6-part series tells the story of the Auschwitz Death Camp, site of the largest mass murder in history. Writer Laurence Rees and his team interviewed over 100 eyewitnesses, including former Nazi perpetrators who speak on the record for the first time. Their story is brought to life through the use of archived footage, recreations of key moments, computer reconstructions based on recently discovered plans of the camp, and their testimony. Grades 9 and up.

Autumn Spring, 2002 (Fiction - Rated PG-13 for language) 95 min - DVD
A wry, bittersweet comedy in the great Czech tradition, Vladimir Michalek's AUTUMN SPRING stars the great Vlastimil Brodsky as Fanda, an old man who refuses to grow up. Despite pleas from his exasperated wife Emilie and son who want him to make some serious decisions about the future, he ignores their nagging and spends his days seeking amusement and adventure. Aided by his pal and former theatre colleague, Fanda keeps his acting skills sharpened by pretending to be a host of fascinating characters. One day he is a retired opera star in the market for an opulent country estate, next a ticket inspector on the subway. Although he bickers constantly with his wife, their bond is palpable - deep down Emilie knows that at least it's never boring. But when Fanda fakes his own death, Emilie decides she's had enough and files for divorce. The couple soon realizes however, that instead of old age being a time to take on worries, perhaps it is the time to shed them and live each day to the fullest. Directed by Vladimir Michalek. Czech with English subtitles.

Baikal: Blue Eye of Siberia, (prior to) 1991 107 min - VHS (2 videotapes)
Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and contains one-fifth of the world's fresh water. It is home to 2,600 species, many of them unique. And it is in danger. This program looks at the environmental damage done to Baikal and at what must be done to save it. It also provides an in-depth look at the politics of the campaign under way to save this lake that many consider the soul of the region, a campaign so large that it has drawn attention and support from around the world. Two tape set examining the historical and ecological importance of Lake Baikal to the Russians.

Ballad of a Soldier, 1960 89 min – VHS
The hero of this tragic “ballad” is an innocent beardless soldier-boy who earns a ten-day leave to go home to his mother by performing a desperate act of bravery at the front. One the way home, he has small adventures – “small” when compared to the background of national crises and massive hardships that are made evident throughout the film. A protest to the damage done to people’s lives by war. Directed by Grigori Chukhrai. Black and white. Russian with English subtitles.

(The) Baltic States, 1992 60 min - VHS
(One World Series) Narrated by Charles Osgood of CBS News with commentary by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. Camera crews documented two years of struggle after the Baltic people declared their freedom in a "singing revolution" that was largely peaceful. This report traces the dark cloud that lingered in the fall of 1994 after the Russian troop withdrawal ended a half-century of occupation - of spies, informers, deportations and fear. Reformers and romantics who first filled offices of government had to be turned out in favor of those with experience, as voters in these nations felt their way back to self-determination.

Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, 1992 54 min - VHS
(Video Visits) A video tour with narration and music through the Baltic States. Visit Vilnius, the multi-ethnic heart of Lithuania. See the historic Gates of Dawn, the Gediminas Tower, the 14th century restored Trakai Castle. Walk through the revered Hill of Crosses and experience country life in Rumsiskes. Roam the sandy beaches of the Neringa Peninsula. Explore Riga with its ancient castle, medieval buildings and Doma Baznica Cathedral in Latvia. In Estonia witness the Midsummer's Eve Torch Ceremony procession.

Battle for the Soul of Russia, 1992 51 min - VHS
With the collapse of the former Soviet Union a new era of religious freedom emerges. A resurgence of faith is sweeping across the formerly atheistic state. Some 350 Western missionary groups are now sending missionaries and money to reach new followers. In this documentary shot in Russia, reporter Bill Turpie introduces us to the murderous history of the religious persecutions by the KGB, the clergy's active role in opposing the abortive coup attempt, the new role of the churches in public education.

Battleship Potemkin, 1925 (Fiction - Contains strong imagery) 119 min - DVD
Battleship Potemkin, one of the most famous and influential films in the history of cinema and containing one of the best known sequences ever filmed, is a screen gem that shines with technical brilliance and dynamic energy. Acclaimed director Sergei Eisenstein shook the world when he released this celebration of the 1905 uprising against tsarism in Russia. The film begins with sailors on the battleship Potemkin refusing to eat maggot-ridden food and ends with a glimpse of the possibility of change. What ensues is a stunning catalog of events that detail the brutality of the tsarist regime, most notably the now famous massacre on the Odessa Steps, referred to so many time in other films, that is has become a permanent part of cinematic consciousness. Stylistically, Battleship Potemkin serves as a revolutionary film, not only in its subject matter, but also in it unique use of montage, Eisensteins' "kino first" approach to filmmaking, his rhythmic editing, and its highly charged melodrama.

Beirut to Bosnia: Muslims and the West To the Ends of the Earth, 1994 52 min - VHS (Contains strong imagery)
Why have so many Muslims come to hate the West? In this controversial film, Robert Fisk, award-winning Middle East and Balkans correspondent for the London Independent, reports on Muslim unrest as ideology, religion, history, and geography come into conflict. To the Ends of the Earth investigates the desperate situations of Muslims in Egypt and Bosnia, who, though worlds apart, are plagued by a common feeling of betrayal by the West. For members of Egypt's Gama'a al-Islamiya, religious fervor and violence - vehicles to create an Islamic state - are viewed as the only antidotes to poverty and unemployment, while Bosnians fight for the simple right to exist in a Europe that they feel does not want them. Interviews with leaders, fighters, and victims from both regions show the many faces of Cairo and Sarajevo.

Beshkempir: The Adopted Son, 1998 (Fiction Rated PG-13) 81 min - DVD
The first independent feature ever made in Kyrgyzstan, this film follows a boy living out a typical childhood, until he discovers one day that he is adopted. What sounds like a cliche takes on striking resonance here in a mostly pre-industrial society. (black & white/color) Directed by Aktan Abdykalykov. Kyrgyz with English subtitles.

Black Sea: Voyage of Healing, 1998 55 min - VHS
The Black Sea separates Europe from Asia, and is a great trading area. It has a rich history of human cultural exchange, and a unique bio-diversity. For thousands of years, people have lived off its bounty. Pollution from Europe's industries, carried by great rivers like the Danube are killing it. This documentary chronicles a circum-navigation of the sea, visiting the countries of Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey in search of solutions to the problems (ecological, economic, spiritual) of the Black Sea region. Directed by Peter Davis. Danube Blues is a follow up to Black Sea: Voyage of Healing.

Bosnia: Peace Without Honor, 1998 40 min - VHS
(BBC) This program traces the roots of the Bosnian conflict through the 1992-1995 efforts of America's Cyrus Vance and Britain's David Owen to negotiate a lasting peace. Both diplomats expose the role of world powers in brokering, mediating, and at times exacerbating the regional conflict. Owen attributes failures to establish an equitable regional government to American foreign policy - particularly the placement of UN troops in strategic Serbian sites.

Bringing Down a Dictator, 2001 56 min - VHS
In the year 2000, in a war barely noticed outside Yugoslavia, the indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic fought to hold power. He controlled a battle-hardened army, a tough police force and most of the news media. But he underestimated his opponents, led by a student movement called Otpor! (Serbian for "resistance"), who attacked the regime with ridicule, rock music, and a willingness to be arrested. Their courage and audacity inspired others to overcome their fear and join the fight. Otpor! students were the shock troops in what became an army of human rights and pro-democracy activists who systematically undermined police and army loyalty to Milosevic and forced him to call early elections. When Milosevic refused to accept his defeat at the polls, the people responded with a general strike. As normal life ground to a halt, Serbs by the hundreds of thousands descended on the capital on October 5th, 2000 to seize the parliament in a dramatic triumph for democracy. Milosevic was arrested and extradited to the Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity in June 2001.

Brother, [Brat] 1997 (Fiction - not rated) 96 min - DVD
When Chechen veteran, Danila (Sergei Bodrov Jr.), is sent by his mother to live with his brother in St. Petersburg he finds himself in the heart of the city's seedy underbelly. Once there, he meets a girl, discovers new music and gets himself a job... as a mafia hitman. When his brother, who also works as a hitman, gets into trouble, it's up to Danila to look out for him. Employing the cold, calculating efficiency he learnt during his combat training days, he risks his life for his own blood. Soon, however, family betrayal rears its ugly head, and things turn bad. A powerful examination of life in a society hardened by violence and crime, Aleksei Balabanov's Brother is an unnerving look at the consequences of conscription and war upon a generation of young Russians. Russian with English subtitles.

Cabaret Balkan, 1999 (Fiction, Rated R) 102 min - VHS
Set against the backdrop of the Balkan wars, this film delivers comedy with a vengeance in a cinematic tour-de-force that collected 1998 Best Film honors from the European Film Awards and the Venice International Film Festival. How the lives of various Yugoslavian citizens - a cab driver, friends in a gym, a girl on a bus, a performance artist - intersect during one unpredictable night forms the story of this fiercely comic film. Directed by Goran Paskaljevic. Serbian with English subtitles.

Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, 1992 22 min - VHS
In government, no two nations are exactly the same in following any one system, socially, economically or politically. Each modifies its system according to local traditions, history and resources. Therefore, the terms "capitalism," "communism," and "socialism" are general terms and can often be misunderstood. By presenting a historical background and showing how changes have affected nations adapting to different systems, this film introduces and compares the true meanings of these terms, thereby putting much of the current upheaval in socialist/ communist countries into perspective.

Chagall: Portrait of an Artist, 1985 55 min - VHS
This film portrait, made shortly before his death takes the viewer on a journey through time and place, exploring Marc Chagall's life and work, documenting the history of the artist. Chagall began life in a Jewish ghetto in Russia. He later moved to Paris, where he met Matisse, Leger and Dufy. There he began to create the floating surrealist style, which has remained his hallmark, becoming a luminary of French artist by the time of his death. Directed by Kim Evans.

Chapayev, 1997 (Fiction  Not Rated) 100 min - VHS
The account of a beloved hero of the Russian Revolution, an illiterate Russian who served in the tsar's army, then after the Revolution formed his own forces to fight alongside the Reds. (black & white) Russian with English subtitles.

Chernobyl: The Taste of Wormwood, 1987 52 min - VHS
Chernobyl has come to mean "disaster" and "cover-up." Actually, ironically, in Russian it means "wormwood." This program, the result of meticulous investigative work by a team of Japanese reporters, provides on-site photography of the blast site and of people and areas affected - some visibly burned, others only statistically at risk. It interviews victims, bystanders, the medical personnel who treated the immediate burn victims, physicists, and politicians. Statisticians have concluded that the Chernobyl accident will cause an additional 20,000 to 200,000 cancer deaths in Western Europe in the next 30 years; using delicate measuring devices, the makers of this program were able to draw a map indicating just where the victims live.

Chernobyl Recovery: A Blueprint for International Co-Operation, 1993 17 min - VHS
A documentary on the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl and the efforts to contain the damage there. The long term health of the region is also explored.

Christians of the East, 1994 3 hours - VHS (2 videotapes, 90 min each)
Yale University's Jaroslav Pelikan returns to when Byzantium was the focal point of a complex civilization and a distinctive Christian tradition (inherited by the Slavic peoples.) As Eastern Christianity emerges from a long suppression, Pelikan recalls a history that the West ignores at great cost. You'll witness how this tradition eventually separated from Western Christianity in the first and greatest schism among Christian believers.

Climbing to the Top of the Caucasus, 1982 48 min - VHS
(Rand-McNally Video Expedition) Journey to the remote reaches of Georgia as an expedition of young adults from America and the Soviet Union join forces to ascend the formidable Mount Elbrus, the 18,481-foot pinnacle of the Caucasus range and highest mountain in Europe. Along the way these climbers overcome cultural and linguistic barriers. They also encounter a traditional wedding in the isolated village of Svanetia. Narrated by Leonard Nimoy.

Closely Watched Trains, 1966 (Fiction - Not Rated) 93 min - DVD
The 1966 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film, "Closely Watched Trains" is a charming look at the life a young train conductor during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. He is ineptly led into an erotic encounter with a beautiful girl and fails to perform. But this unlikely hero takes a stand when his village is threatened by the occupying German Army. Directed by Jiri Menzel. Czech with English subtitles.

Collapse of the Aral Sea Ecosystem, 2000 54 min - DVD
The Aral Sea used to be one of the world's largest and most productive inland bodies of water until a Soviet plan to turn Central Asia into the greatest cotton-producer on Earth destroyed it. Now mostly a sterile lake amidst a desert poisoned by decades of fertilizer and pesticide runoff, the Aral Sea, itself ruined, is ruining the lives of all who still live near it. This program details the irreversible damage to the ecosystem and the resulting health problems being faced by the remaining inhabitants of the region. "The Aral Sea and the tragic plight of its people is not a freak, isolated event, but a crisis that is just slightly ahead of its time," says host David Suzuki.

Cold War, 1998 18+ hours - 8 videotapes - VHS (3 episodes per videotape, 46 min/episode)
CNN's epic eight-volume examination of the key events, personalities, and consequences of the cold war. Includes rare footage of historical events and interviews with people who helped shape history. Directed by Jeremy Isaacs, (black & white/color):

  1. Comrades (1917-45) - Once allies against Hitler, the Soviet Union and the United States confront each other at the end of World War II. Looming over the postwar landscape is the awesome, mushroom-shaped cloud of the atomic bomb.
  2. Iron Curtain (1945-47)- In the months following their victory in World War II, the alliance between the Soviet Union and the West quickly proves to be little more than a marriage of convenience. Suspicion clouds relations - while a curtain descends over Europe.
  3. Marshal Plan (1947-52) - With hunger and discontent plaguing postwar Europe, the U.S. proposes an aid program to rebuild the ruined continent. But the Marshall Plan also solidifies the deep ideological differences between East and West.
  4. Berlin (1948-49)- In Berlin, American, British and French sectors form a Western enclave in the Soviet zone of divided Germany. In June 1948, the Soviets blockade the city, but the Western allies successfully airlift in supplies. In August 1949, Soviet scientists explode an atomic bomb, establishing nuclear parity between the superpowers.
  5. Korea (1949-53)- June 1950, North Korea invades the South with Stalin's blessing. The US, backed by the UN, defends South Korea and is confronted by Communist China. Mid 1950, after stalemate, an armistice is signed.
  6. Reds (1947-53) - Following Stalin's domination of Eastern Europe and the loss of China, American democracy falls victim to anti-communist hysteria. Eisenhower is elected and Stalin reinforces the his climate of terror until he dies, 1953.
  7. After Stalin (1953-56)- Khrushchev outmaneuvers Malenkov for power and visits the West. Germans, Poles and Hungarians attempt to rise against Soviet rule. 1956 a Hungarian uprising is ruthlessly crushed by Soviet tanks, US does nothing.
  8. Sputnik (1949-61) - In October 1957, the 1st Soviet satellite Sputnik orbits the earth - to the dismay of the US and its space program. 1961, the Soviets launch the first man into space.
  9. The Wall (1958-63) - West Germany has been admitted to NATO. Within East Germany, Berlin is divided between East and West by an open border. 1000s flee to the communist system. To keep their people in, the East Germans, with Soviet backing, build The Wall.
  10. Cuba (1959-62) - Khrushchev and Castro decide to install missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from the US. The US detects the missile sites and blockades Cuba. The superpowers confront one another and decide to step back, avoiding a nuclear war.
  11. Vietnam (1954-68) - Vietnam has been divided since the end of French colonial rule. Communists run the North, the South by anti-communists. The US, despite warnings, gets involved in the nationalist struggle. America protests a war that we cannot win.
  12. MAD (1960-72) - Through out the 60s the US and Soviet Union are locked in a nuclear standoff. Nuclear strategy evolves into Mutual Assured Destruction, (MAD), in which both sides are guaranteed certain annihilation in the event of war.
  13. Make Love, Not War (1960s) - Western economies grow and prosper, fueled partly by armaments production. Rejecting their parent's affluence and the Cold War, young people protest. There is racial violence in US inner cities. Rock music expresses the mood of a disenchanted generation.
  14. Red Spring (1960s) - In the Soviet bloc, communist rule stifles ambition and achievement. Soviet defense expenditure cripples economic growth. The young lust for totems of America's youth culture. In Czechoslovakia, Dubcek attempts limited reform, but in 1968, Soviet force crushes the Prague Spring.
  15. China (1949-72) - Chinese communists win the longest civil war in 20th century history. Mao's land reforms are popular but in 1958, he embarks on a series of catastrophic changes. China maintains and uneasy relationship with the Soviet Union. In 1960 the Sino-Soviet split paves the way for President Nixon's historic visit to Beijing.
  16. Detente (1969-75) - N. Vietnam launches a new offensive against the South. The US steps up its bombing campaign while seeking peace through diplomacy. Nixon and Brezhnev sign the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT). The US finally withdraws from Vietnam. Detente culminates in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975.
  17. Good Guys, Bad Guys (1967-78) - The superpowers use surrogates to wage ideological and often physical conflict. In 1967 and 1973, American -backed Israel triumphs over Soviet-backed Egypt and Syria. In Africa, the Soviets exploit nationalist, anti-colonial struggles. The US supports South Africa in its battle against communism.
  18. Back Yard (1954-90) - The US has always regarded Latin America as its backyard. Fearing the spread of communism, it seeks to destabilize leftist governments. In 1973, the CIA helps overthrow the Chilean President Salvador Allende; in the 1980s, it supports right-wing extremists in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
  19. Freeze (1977-81) - Concern for human rights in the East grows; detente ebbs. The Soviets arm Eastern Europe; the US threatens to site missiles in Western Europe. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan ends detente. Promising tougher measures against Moscow, Reagan defeats Carter for the Presidency. In Poland, martial law is imposed.
  20. Soldiers of God (1975-88) - Afghanistan is a war that costs the lives of almost 15,000 Soviet conscripts and an estimated 1,000,000 Afghans. The US supplies billions of dollars of weapons to unlikely allies - Islamic fundamentalists. The result is a Vietnam-style conflict, which takes it toll on the Soviets and hastens the end of the Cold War.
  21. Spies (1944-94) - Early CIA attempts to penetrate the Iron Curtain are thwarted. The US reacts with increasingly sophisticated technological intelligence - the U2 spy plane, satellite reconnaissance and electronic eavesdropping. Yet human spies remain important. Sometimes betrayers, sometimes betrayed, many spies pay with their lives.
  22. Star Wars (1980-88) - Reagan boosts US defense spending and proposes the Strategic Defense Initiative, an anti-missile system in space. New premier Gorbachev knows the Soviet's can't match the US, and wants to liberalize and reconstruct the economy. After summits in Geneva, Rejkjavik and Washington, the leaders agree to drastic arms cuts.
  23. The Wall Comes Down (1989) - The dominoes fall: incredibly quickly, the Soviet block is breaking up, virtually without bloodshed. First Poland, then Hungary, the East Germany slip away from communist control. Gorbachev makes no effort to hold them back with force. Amid scenes of jubilation, the hated Berlin Wall comes down.
  24. Conclusions (1989-91) - The US proves the stronger, the Soviet Union implodes, Germany is reunified. Shorn of its empire and communist domination, Russia faces its future with its economy in chaos. The balance of terror that has kept the peace for more than 40 years vanishes. The Cold War has ended without the use of nuclear weapons.

Communism: The Promise and the Reality, 1998 360 min - VHS (6 videotapes, 60 min each)
Communism: The Promise and the Reality, 1998 360 min - VHS (6 videotapes, 60 min each) In the People's Century series "Communism: The Promise and the Reality", ordinary people describe how and why they were mesmerized by the promises of Communist regimes. With those regimes collapsing around the world, they are now able to speak openly and with perspective. These witnesses participated in the most dramatic moments in the history of Communism--from the Bolshevik assault on the Winter Palace to the smashing of the Berlin Wall. They also beheld the response to revolution--the crushing power of American and Soviet forces, the international arms build-up, the threat of nuclear weapons. Their voices speak of Communism's horrors, but they remind us that there was hope--for education in Ukraine, land ownership in Cuba, religious freedom in Afghanistan. Narrated by John Forsythe and Alfre Woodard. (Boxed Set - 6 Volumes).

  1. Red Flag: Communism in Russia, 1917-1936. When Lenin's Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in 1917, they did so in the name of a new ideology. Millions were drawn by its promise. In Red Flag, the people who were there - from members of the Red Guard to party activists to students - explain how Communism appealed to their deepest hopes and dreams. Through them, we hear how Communist leadership, under Lenin and Stalin, compromised the proletarian ideal - and how hope eventually gave way to despair. The people remember: the storming of the Winter Palace, Lenin, Bolsheviks, civil war, mass literary campaigns, Lenin's death, Soviet's "five-year plan," collectivization, kulaks, "show" trials, Stalin's purges.
  2. Brave New World: The Cold War Begins, 1945-1962. 50 years ago, Soviet and American troops met on the banks of the river Elbe and rejoiced at the defeat of Nazi Germany. The mood was one of camaraderie between Allies, and their optimism was shared by the liberated populations of Europe. Brave New World tracks the building tension between these two superpowers, from the post-war through the 1960's, as the hope for peace swiftly disintegrates into a "cold" war of competing ideologies between East and West. The people remember: meeting on the Elbe, refugees in Europe, Stalin, Churchill at Fulton, Khrushchev, propaganda wars, NATO, Berlin blockade, Korea, Hungarian Uprising, Berlin Wall.
  3. Fallout: Nuclear Energy and Destruction, 1942-1987. The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the end of WWII - and also heralded the beginning of the nuclear arms race. Simultaneously, the peaceful potential of nuclear energy was held out as the hope of the future. But early optimism and enthusiasm evaporated as the dangers of radiation and nuclear accidents became evident. Authoritarian governments ignored challenges to nuclear energy programs caused by popular apprehension, but all governments encountered growing evidence of the costs of nuclear power. The people remember: the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, nuclear testing, Cuban Missile crisis, protest movements, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl.
  4. Great Leap: Communism in China, 1949-1989. In China, Communism got a second chance. Simpler and more radical than the Soviet model, Chinese Communism sprang from the countryside rather than from the city. Mao Zedong tried to build a Communist society free of the corruption and revisionism he believed had derailed the Soviet original. Beginning with the overthrow of landlords, the people rallied behind Mao. Yet soon, the face of communism changed again when the state took control of the land, and the people, through unrealistic economic programs and production quotas. Only extreme poverty led to a change in course. When Mao felt China was turning down "the capitalist road," he proclaimed a Cultural Revolution, in which unspeakable violence against intellectuals and other "subversives" swept the country, leading to a societal longing for normalcy. The people remember: Mao Zedong, "takeover" of 1949, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, arrest of Gang of Four, Deng's "Second Revolution," Red Guards, Tiananmen Square.
  5. Guerrilla Wars: Cuba, Vietnam and Afghanistan, 1954-1981. The face of war changed when bands of highly motivated guerrilla warriors showed that they could defeat even the most powerful armies in the world. The model for guerrilla warfare was set in Cuba when a small band of revolutionaries wrestled control from Battista's armies. The mobilization of the peasants to support the revolution created a prototype that would be copied around the world. In Asia, the peasant armies of the Vietcong humbled America in front of the world by forcing the superpower to admit defeat. The North Vietnamese were a dangerous, but invisible threat, "like a fish in water." In Afghanistan, the people resisted communist ideals, believing them a threat to the traditions of Islam. In these "people's wars," the guerrillas drew strength from the local population which furnished recruits and supplies, shelter and underground intelligence. More than ever before, popular support was vital in deciding the outcome of a war. The people remember: Vietnam War, Cuba, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Vietnam Tet Offensive, tunnels, Afghanistan, Russian Offensive and Mujahideen.
  6. People Power: The End of Soviet-Style Communism, 1980-1993. In 1991, the Communist Party lost control of the Soviet Union, the culmination of a process that had started in 1980 in the Polish shipyards: ten million eventually joined Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement and signaled the beginning of the end for Soviet-style communism. In People Power, eyewitnesses tell the story of how the Communist system that dominated post-war Eastern Europe collapsed as they remember the extraordinary weeks that preceded and followed the fall of the Berlin Wall; Poland's fight for solidarity; Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Revolution;" the struggle for power in the Soviet Union, and more. The people remember: 1980 Gdansk, the role of the Church, Solidarity movement, martial law in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Berlin Wall, Romania, Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Contemporary Estonian Animation, 1992-1999 (Animation - not Rated) 293 min - VHS (4 videotapes, ranging in length)
A collection of vital works by animation artists Priit Parn, Mati Kutt and the Eesti Joonisfilm studio.

  1. Volume 1: Priit Parn (1992) - The Estonian Illustrator, Animator and Artist, Priit Parn joined the animation studio Joonisfilm in 1974. He made is first film "Is the Earth Round" in 1977. Parn has since evolved into one of the most influential animation artists in the world. Parn's films are witty, richly textured investigations of individual identity within shifting and often absurd political, social and cultural landscapes. Specifically, Parn examines how human behavior is affected by a system, whether it is communism, capitalism, or the internet. Often described as examples of "grotesque realism," Parn's films are strikingly original and consistently intelligent. On this volume: "And Plays Tricks" (1979, 9:34) A green cub performs tricks for his neighbors is soon seen as a nuisance. "Some Exercises in Preparation for an Independent Life" (1981, 9:05) A contrast between boy and man and with it liberation and routine. "Breakfast on the Grass" (1988, 24:22) Four characters go off in search of items needed for a picnic. This savage critique of Soviet life is regarded as one of the masterpieces of animation. "Hotel E" (1992, 28:12) Made on the eve of Estonian independence, "Hotel E" explores the hypocrisy of both Eastern and Western systems.
  2. Volume 2: Priit Parn (1998) - On this volume: The Triangle (1982, 18:00) A relationship between a married couple is dramatically altered by the appearance of a third person. Inspired by the Estonian folk-tale A Man who Lived under the Oven. Time Out (1984, 10:00) To be free for nine minutes in our lovely, crazy world. 1895 (1995, 30:00) "The Cinema is a lie.,  A journey through 100 years of cinema. The Night of the Carrots (1998, 27:00) No one expects an imminent catastrophe. The only hope is the night of the carrots.
  3. Volume 3: Mati Kutt (1999) - Mati Kutt has also contributed greatly to Estonia's distinctive animation scene. A former electrical engineer, Kutt was born in 1947. He joined Eesti Joonisfilm (a division of the state film studio, Tallinnfilm) in the early 1970s, but did not make his first film until 1981 ("Monument"). Although Kutt made "Labyrinth" in 1989, he really came into his own as an animator after Estonian independence in 1991. This collection includes four of his films--works that are surreal in style and satirical in theme: "Labyrinth" (1989, 8:00) A scratch film about a man's journey through a labyrinth. "Smoked Sprat Baked in the Sun" (1992, 24:00) A surreal and comic opera about a man who lives unhappily under the sea until he catches a fish who grants him three wishes. "Little Lilly" (1994, 16:00) In this comic and philosophical tale, young Lilly starves herself to protest her father's contradictory stance against flies; he wants to fly, but continually kills flies. "Underground" (1998, 10:00) A beautiful, multi-layered work about the relationship between order and random movement.
  4. Volume 4: Eesti Joonisfilm (1999) - The independent animation studio Eesti Joonisfilm was formed in 1994, following the closing of the Nukufilm (puppet film) and Joonisfilm (standard animation) divisions of Estonia's state film studio. Although owned and operated by animators, this studio was subject to market pressures that were not present before state funding was cut. This volume provides a survey of the kind of work that the top Estonian animators have produced under this new structure, as well as one short produced before Eesti Joonisfilm was established. Included: "Birthday" (Janno Poldma, 1994, 10:00) Little Leo's birthday is on Christmas Day. "Departure" (Heiki Ernits, 1991, 10:00) A train passes through different social and political landscapes. "Jaagup and Death" (Heiki Ernits, 1994, 10:00) What could be better than the opportunity to live forever? "Gravitation" (Priit Tender, 1994, 9:00) Young Udo has a burning desire to fly. Viola (Priit Tender, 1999, 12:00) A burnt out violinist performs a tragicomic number with his dancer wife. "On the Possibility of Love" (Janno Poldma, 1999, 12:00) Life can be unpredictable. "Romance" (Kasper Jancis, 1999, 4:00) A musical film about humans and cockroaches. Also included on this volume are two films produced at the Turku Arts Academy's animation department, founded by Priit Parn: "Cappuccino" (Ulo Pikkov, 1996, 4:00) A film about a man, a fly, and how to fly. "Bermuda" (Ulo Pikkov, 1998, 12:00) The story of a seaman and a mermaid living in a dried up sea.

Crisis in Kosovo, 1999 15 min - VHS
Providing helpful historical background, this video briefly explains how Yugoslavia-once stable under Tito-fractured into the states of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and the dominant Serbia. Students are led to research and discuss such questions as: Was NATO right to bomb Serbia, or did bombing do more harm than good? What will be the long-term effects of NATO’s action? Why did the United States stand aside when ethnic killings occurred in places like Rwanda and East Timor? Is the KLA equally guilty of atrocities? Is it reasonable to compare Milosevic with Hitler? Includes an 11"h x 17"w poster and a 12-page guide with reproducible worksheets. Grades 6-12. Color.

(The) Cuckoo, 2002 (Fiction - Rated PG-13) 103 min - DVD
September 1944, in a land torn apart by war, a Finnish sniper is labeled a coward by his compatriots; as punishment, he is nailed to a rock and left to his own devices. Not long after, a disgraced Russian Captain, enroute to his court martial, is injured in an accident. Both men are about to find out hey have one thing in common. Wounded and emotionally tortured, they are taken in by Anni, a young resourceful war widow, who offers shelter to one while nursing the other back to health. None of them understand the others' languages, but it doesn't seem to matter. Isolated, the three unlikely roommates - a Finn, A Russian and a Lapp - overcome both with comic and tragic misunderstandings to form a passion ate three-way relationship. Because after a day of hard work on Anni's farm, who needs words? Directed by Aleander Rogozhkin. Russian, Finnish, Lapp with English subtitles.

(The) Czar's Faberge Eggs, 1998 50 min – DVD
They are at once exquisite works of art and fascinating relics of a vanished era. They are among the most valuable and prized treasures on earth, with one recently fetching a record $5.5 million at auction. The jeweled Easter eggs created by Peter Carl Faberge for the Russian Czar Nicholas II represent the zenith of the jewelers' art. They helped secure Faberge a reputation that lasts to this day, and embody an age of opulence that came to a sudden, horrific end. The Czar's Faberge Eggs goes behind the scenes at the Forbes Collection the world's largest and the Hillwood Museum in Washington D.C. for an up-close look at many of these magnificent creations. Curators and experts reveal the amazing features that make each one a masterpiece, while historians show how the history of the waning years of Russian royalty can be traced by the changing themes of the unique creations. From the court of the czars to today, here is the complete story of some of the most fascinating and beautiful artworks ever created.

Danube, (prior to) 1990 50 min - VHS
A documentary on the great river and its impact on the history of central Europe. This program is part of a series called "Great Rivers of the World".

Danube Blues, 2001 50 min - VHS
A follow up to "Black Sea Voyage Of Healing," this documentary looks at the current ecological, political, and economic problems of the region, and places them in the perspective of the turmoil of Danubia during the last century. A chronicle of a Danube voyage (2,500 km) from Germany to the Black Sea. Shot just after NATO's war against Serbia. Directed by Peter Davis.

Daughters of Afghanistan, 2004 58 min - DVD
After the Taliban fell, Afghan women felt a quick rush of freedom before Islamic fundamentalists again denied them rights as the world stood by. In this documentary, Canadian journalist Sally Armstrong tells the stories of five women and their struggles to survive hardship and repression. Centered on Dr. Sima Samar-a champion who defied the Taliban and served briefly in the transitional government-the program also profiles a school principal, a housewife, a widow, and a girl whose childhood was lost to war. An outstanding resource for women's studies or global education. DVD features: Sally Armstrong commentary track and interviews. Grades 9 and up.

Death of Yugoslavia: 20th Century with Mike Wallace, 1997 50 min - VHS
This program provides an introduction to the history of the former Yugoslavia, from WWII through the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It draws heavily on news footage, including original commentary.

Decalogue, 1999 (Fiction) 10 hours - DVD (10 episodes, 60 min each)
Krzysztof Kieslowski's masterpiece explores the timeless moral issues of human existence through ten contemporary tales, each based on one of the Ten Commandments. Originally produced for Polish television, the series of separate but intertwining films transcended the boundaries of film and TV, winning honors as it played around the world. All ten films in a two-disc set. Polish with English subtitles.

Donahue in Moscow: A Day in the Life of a Soviet Family, 1988 27 min - VHS
Phil Donahue interviews Soviet citizens about family life - health care, daily habits, family planning, alcoholism, children, interspersed with short clips of life in Moscow.

Donahue in Moscow: Soviet Teens, 1988 30 min - VHS
Phil Donahue interviews Soviet teens about religion, daily life, dating, school and current events in a talk show setting. This was produced to humanize Soviet citizens for an American audience.

Dr. Zhivago, 1965 (Fiction, PG-13) 197 min - VHS (2 videotapes, boxed set)
The classic film based on Boris Pasternak's novel of love and war in Revolutionary Russia. It's the story of a talented poet and a dedicated surgeon whose war-disrupted life alters the lives of many especially those closest to him. Directed by David Lean. Won many academy awards.

Early Russian Cinema, 1908-1919 (Fiction  Not Rated) 12 hours - VHS (10 videotapes, 45 to 104 min each)
This ten-part video anthology considers the early thematic, cultural, political, and artistic developments of Russian cinema. The films span the time from the first Russian dramatic production, "Stenka Razin" (1908), and even earlier documentaries such as "A Fish Factory in Astrakhan" (1908), to "The Funeral of Vera Kholodnaia" (1919), which records the vast public response to the early death of Russia's greatest star.

  1. Beginnings (45 min) - Actualities made by foreign companies, like Pathe's "A Fish Factory in Astrakhan," stimulated a demand for home-produced films which was finally answered by the enterprising Drankov. His "Sten'ka Razin" (1908), enjoyed immense success as the first Russian dramatic film. Pathe responded by increasing production at their Moscow studio, with art films like "Princess Tarakanova" (1910) and the first Chekhov adaptation, "Romance with Double-Bass" (1911).
  2. Folklore and Legend (55 min) - 4 Films that chart the emergence of Russian cinema's leading producer, Aleksandr Khanzhonkov, and the pioneer director Vasilii Goncharov. "Drama in a Gypsy Camp" (1908) and the unreleased "Brigand Brothers" are lively folklore subjects - the latter includes a superb early performance by Mozzhukhin - while "A 16th Century Russian Wedding" (1909) shows the influence of history painting and "Rusalka" (1910) draws on French-style special effects to realize Pushkin's poetic legend.
  3. Starewicz's Fantasies (58 min) - Starewicz is now regarded as one of the pioneers of puppet animation. But while it was his insect fables like "The Dragonfly and the Ant" (1913) that brought him early fame - Tsar Nikolai was an admirer - a ribald Gogol adaptation in the same year, "Christmas Eve," launched him on an equally original feature career in fantasy subjects. He also contributed strongly to the war effort, with a string of propaganda shorts typified by "The Lily of Belgium" (1915).
  4. Provincial Variations (55 min) - Although the early Russian cinema industry was based mainly in Moscow, provincial film-making contributed some striking novelties. Among these were the "Latvian Wedding Day" (1912), providing an invaluable record of traditional Jewish customs, and the sensational blackmail melodrama "Merchant Bashkirov's Daughter" (1913), set on the Volga.
  5. Chardynin's Pushkin (45 min) - The former touring actor-manager made an early name for himself - and gave Russian cinema a distinctly cultured orientation - with Pushkin adaptations like "The Queen of Spades" (1910) and "The House in Koloma" (1913). In the latter, Chardynin's protege Mozzhukhin played both a dashing officer and a farcical cook in drag.
  6. Class Distinctions (95 min) - Despite strict censorship intended to prevent any inflammatory material reaching the screen, many early Russian films achieved a remarkably candid portrayal of social conditions. Goncharov's "The Peasants' Lot" (1912) portrayed the hardship of rural life, while an early film by Bauer, "Silent Witnesses" (1914) dealt frankly with servants' views of their masters in a Moscow mansion.
  7. Evgenii Bauer (95 min) - Bauer is the major discovery from early Russian cinema. In a mere 5 prolific years, he achieved mastery in several genres, including the social melodrama of "A Child of the Big City" (1913), erotic comedy like "The 1002nd Ruse" (1915) and the psychological melodrama of "Daydreams" (1915). Admired by his contemporaries, he raised Russian cinema to an unparalleled artistic level before his early death in 1917.
  8. Iakov Protazanov (104 min) - Protazonov, together with Bauer the leading director of Russian cinema, did not shrink from controversy in either his highly successful pre- or post-1917 careers. "The Departure of a Great Old Man" (1912), about the last days of Tolstoy, provoked legal action by the outraged family. "The Queen of Spades" (1916) starred Mozzhukhin in one of his most compelling roles as Pushkin's haunted hero.
  9. High Society (100 min) - A panorama of Russian cinema's social impact at the height of its ambition. "Antosha Ruined by a Corset" (1916) is a racy, knowing urban comedy by Russia's leading screen comedian, Anton Fertner. "A Life for a Life" (1916) marked the pinnacle of Bauer's ambition to equal lavish foreign production standards. And "The Funeral of Vera Kholodnaia" recorded the vast public response to the early death of Russia's greatest star in 1919.
  10. The End of an Era (72 min) - Between the February and October revolutions in 1917, Russian cinema reflected urgent new themes, as in "The Revolutionary." But Bauer also continued his vein of tragic melodrama in what was to be his last film, For Luck - designed by and featuring as an actor the young Kuleshov. A poignant fragment, "Behind the Screen," shows the stars Mozzhukhin and Lisenko on the eve of their departure into exile.

Eastern Europe, 1991 3 hours - VHS (3 videotapes, 60 min each)
Using rare archival footage, this 3-part series provides an in-depth look at the history of Eastern Europe. The programs track events from 1900 to the fall of Communism.

  1. Eastern Europe, 1900-1939 - From Franz Josef to the rise of Hitler and the beginnings of WWII. Topics covered include the war for Macedonia pitting Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece against the Turks; political manipulation of the Balkans by Russia, Austria, Britain & France; domination of Serbia; the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; the fall of czarist Russia; the Hungarian Revolution of 1918; rise of the Communist Party; rise of Marshal Pilsudski in Poland; formation of the united kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and the Munich Conference.
  2. Eastern Europe: Political Powder Keg, 1939-1953 - This program traces how both Hitler's and Stalin's quests for power left this vulnerable area of the world permanently destabilized. Topics include the invasion of Poland by Germany; intrigues and internal politics of the Balkan States; declaration of Croatian independence; the war between Russia and Germany; the Warsaw Ghetto; Marshal Tito and the Anti-Fascist Liberation Council; the battle for Stalingrad; American intervention; the Slavic resistance movement; the Yalta Conference; the Potsdam Conference; the Communist takeover; Tito's break with Moscow; and closing the Iron Curtain.
  3. Eastern Europe: A Century of Trouble, 1953-1991 - Beginning with the death of Stalin, topics include: the rise of Khrushchev; the 1956 Polish Workers Revolt; the liberation of Cardinal Wyszinski; the Hungarian Revolt; the rise of Nicolae Ceausecu in Romania; Tito's socialism; the Czechoslovakian Walesa and the Polish minor's strike; Gorbachev and perestroika; and the rise of democracy.

Eastern Europe: Breaking with the Past, 1990 10 hours - VHS (10 videotapes, 53 min each)
(Smithsonian Video) This collection investigates the current issues facing the emerging democracies of eastern Europe.

  1. Memories of Childhood and War recalls the tragedy of two World Wars as seen through the imagination and lives of East Europeans. This program includes the story of Hungarian children orphaned in WWII, as well as a memorable film combining animation and archival footage to illustrate the tumultuous history since WWI.
  2. At the Crossroads: Eastern European Jewry features an American filmmaker who finds that many East Europeans are rediscovering their history and traditions as he searches for his own cultural legacy in Hungary, Poland and Germany.
  3. The Polish Experience explores the roots of change in Eastern Europe through short documentaries on Polish history, the Solidarity Movement, and the impact of Soviet domination for over four decades. The program includes a Polish animated short making fun of Poland's inability to escape history.
  4. Theatre and the Revolution explores the use of theatre in Eastern Europe for political purposes. The program includes documentaries on the "Stalinist Show Trials" of the 1950's, underground activities of actors and theatre groups, and today's avantgarde plays of Eastern Europe.
  5. A New World of Television looks at Eastern European television as a reflection of their values, interests, lifestyles, and opinions. The program includes commercials, sports, news features, soap operas, variety and game shows, documentaries, comedies, investigative reports and made-for-TV movies.
  6. An Animated Journey gives an insightful look into the politics, culture and personality of the Eastern Europeans through their outstanding animation (featuring various animation styles and techniques from Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, and Czechoslovakia.
  7. Ceausescu: Eastern Europe's Last Dictator? Provides a portrait of the last Stalinist leader in Eastern Europe and the events leading to his violent overthrow and execution at the hands of the Romanian people (includes 2 short documentaries on the history of Romania and an animated short on man's capacity for cruelty to his fellow man.)
  8. America's Relations with Eastern Europe offers an impressionistic overview of America's historical relationship with Eastern Europe (includes a Hungarian film depicting the life of early immigrants to the U.S., a Cold War documentary hosted by Ronald Reagan, and a satirical animation from Hungary on the Gorbachev-Reagan summit.)
  9. A Generation of Artists tells the story of two Czech artists and their immigration to Washington, D.C. The American filmmaker travels to Prague to see the 1989 Revolution through the eyes of their parents, also blacklisted artists (poignantly shows how creative life was stifled under communism.)
  10. Estonia: A Story of Survival looks at Estonia's search for its own history after decades of Soviet domination (includes a documentary, "Hitler and Stalin 1939", using formerly classified Soviet footage, and a second film on an Estonian intellectual who refused to be co-opted by communism.)

Eisenstein and Stalin: When Art and Politics Clash, 1999 60 min - DVD
Drawing on sixty volumes of diaries and other recently revealed archival materials, this program presents the struggle between Joseph Stalin and Sergei Eisenstein, who fought for freedom of expression in a climate of exiles and executions. Rare clips of the preeminent Russian director's controversial films ¬including the deleted Trotsky scene in October, the original ending of The General Line, and recovered footage from the banned Bezhin Meadow ¬and interviews with the director of the Eisenstein Museum, friends, associates, and former students underscore the coercive power of Stalin's authoritarian regime.

Elie Wiesel Goes Home, 2002 108 min – DVD
This film follows the Nobel laureate as he travels back to his homeland, in what was part of Hungary, and then to Auschwitz and Birkenau. It is narrated by William Hurt who reads from Mr. Wiesel’s critically acclaimed works. Following the feature are interviews with Jewish scholars Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Professor Bernard Goldberg, Director of the American Jewish Cultural Studies Program at West Los Angeles College. Note: some images of atrocities.

Empire of Dreams: The Bolshoi Ballet, 1996 58 min - VHS
This program relies on performance, archival footage, and behind-the-scenes film to provide an intimate portrait of the illustrious Bolshoi. We see how its stars have been indulged by Russian society. Film footage captures its new artistic director, Vladimir Vasilye, as he guides the group through various productions. Prima ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya, newcomer Nina Ananiaschvili, and others are shown working at the barre, in rehearsal, on tour, and performing excerpts from famous ballets. This is a probing look at a world-renowned cultural treasure.

Europe: Balkan Region, 1994 20 min - VHS
Though historically the "tinderbox of Europe," this strife-torn region also contains peaceful rural villages, resort towns, and thriving modern cities. From the Golden Sands beaches on the Black Sea to the unsurpassed beauty of the Carpathian Mountains, this least developed part of Europe encompasses the countries of Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and part of Turkey. Gives some history, geographical features, industries, and attractions of the area.

Europe: Northern Europe, 1994 21 min -VHS
Compares Europe's northern region: Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), the Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), Iceland, and Finland. Discusses its diverse geography, cultures, industries, climates, and natural resources. The people live harmoniously with the challenges of their harsh environment. This region's long democratic traditions and high standard of living set an example for the rest of Europe.

European Union Moves East, 1999 25 min -VHS
Part of Expanding Europe-Round Five of the EU Buildout. Endowed with a strategic geographic position and a vibrant economy, Germany is playing a key role in the EU's expansion into Eastern and Central Europe. How is it facilitating the efforts of its neighbors in their bids for statehood? And who is assisting the countries beyond Germany's reach? Featuring an interview with the European Commission's Guenter Verheugen, this program surveys the issues facing Estonia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Cyprus, including their need for economic revitalization, industrial innovation and infrastructure improvements. The EU's relationship with Russia and the Balkans is considered as well.

Face of Russia, 1998 3 hours - VHS (3 videotapes, 60 min each)
Three tape set highlighting the centuries-old art and culture of Russia, encompassing Russia's architecture, paintings, music, literature, and cinema. Hosted by James Billington, one of America's foremost historians of Russia.

  1. Face on the Firewood - Icon painting, the first Russian art form, has survived and flourished during Russia's many times of troubles, including the devastating anti-clerical decrees wrought by communism. This program reveals the spiritual ideas that have animated Russia for 1,000 years and witness's recent restorations of churches and monasteries from Kiev to the Kremlin.
  2. The Facade of Power examines Russian architecture, from the Easter-inspired onion domes on churches to Western-type palaces of unparalleled splendor. The program also looks at the writings of Gogol, who revealed the human suffering behind Russia's "Facade of Power." His "Dead Souls" first inspired 19th-century political radicals, then Soviet dissidents, and still influences Russian artists today.
  3. Facing the Future - In "Boris Godunov," the great composer Musorgsky dramatized the conflict between power and the people during Russia's original "Time of Troubles." Sergei Eisenstein retold history with silent films of such power that they became more real than actual events. This program explores the advance of Russian music and cinema, and looks at how new media forms are shaping Russia today.

Generous Manas, 1995 30 min - VHS
The epos, Manas, contains the foundations of the cultural, historical, social and religious traditions of the semi-nomadic Kyrgyz peoples of Central Asia. 1995 was the 1000th anniversary of the unprecedented folk epic Manas. With 500,000 poetical lines it is the greatest epic work in the world. For centuries Manas has been passed from generation to generation by skilled "manaschi." This video tells the story of the Kyrgyz, a semi-nomadic people who love horses, through their ancient hero Manas. It was filmed in the mountainous land of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia by, the well know Kyrgyz company, Epos.

Genghis Khan: Terror and Conquest, 1996 50 min -VHS
(A & E Network) From the plains of Mongolia to the pages of history, this is the story of Genghis Khan. His name is equated with barbarism and terror, but the ancient Mongol warlord was as effective a ruler as he was a conqueror. At the height of his power, his empire extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Persian Gulf. But while none question his military brilliance, his abilities as a statesman and ruler are often overlooked. Genghis Khan was one of the most effective rulers in human history. He fashioned his nomadic armies into the greatest fighting force the world had ever seen, and extended his empire to the furthest corners of Asia and into Europe in a series of brilliant and devastating campaigns. This program travels to Asia on the trail of the great conqueror and traces his exploits through extensive location footage, expert testimony and period art and artifacts. Discover how his empire was so well controlled that a traveler could go from one end of it to the other in safety, and relive the epic battles that secured his place among the greatest conquerors in history.

Genocide: The Horror Continues, 2002 (Viewer discretion is advised) 57 min - VHS
(Genocide Factor Series) The late 20th century produced a sinister euphemism: "ethnic cleansing." Introduced by actor John Voight, with the aid of an array of scholars, experts, eyewitnesses, and survivors from around the world, Genocide: The Horror Continues looks at the most recent examples in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey; Burundi and Rwanda; the former Yugoslavia; Indonesia and East Timor; and Chechnya. The role and efforts of the United Nations are discussed as well as what the future holds in trying to prevent genocide. Among many scholars, experts, and survivors interviewed are Jamsheed Marker, former U.S. Ambassador and negotiator to East Timor; Gregory H. Stanton, director of Genocide Watch; and Joseph Mutaboba, Rwandan Ambassador to the UN.

Gorbachev, Mikhail, 1996 50 min - VHS
(Biography) In this candid interview, Gorbachev tells of his long rise to power and reflects on the sweeping changes his reforms brought to his nation. His drastic reforms led to the end of his nation as the world knew it. But ultimately, he was undone by his own success. One of the most compelling figures of the 20th century, Gorbachev is the son of a mechanic from the North Caucasus, whose vision to change his nation was shaped by his childhood experiences under Stalin's rule. Gorbachev recounts how he rose through the party ranks without betraying his radical visions for the future. Once in power, however, the changes were swift and sweeping. Extensive footage chronicles the turbulent years of his rule, from the first stirrings of Glasnost to the unsuccessful coup attempt that marked the last gasp of the old, hard-line leadership. And Soviet historians and political experts detail his world-changing legacy.

Gypsies and the Freedom to Hate, 2001 23 min - VHS
Ironically, the Gypsies or Roma of eastern Europe, a people historically persecuted, were protected under the communist system; the disintegration of that system has opened the floodgates of a repressed hatred. In this program, ABC News correspondent Chris Bury looks at an age-old prejudice that has resurfaced in such countries as Hungary and the Czech Republic. Inheriting a legacy of discrimination and even slavery, the Roma, as this profile shows, are an ethnic group with the lowest education levels and highest welfare rates in Europe.

Hapsburgs: Between Empire and Nation, 1993 53 min - VHS
The history of the Hapsburg dynasty, which spanned more than 600 years, is synonymous with the history of Europe from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Using on-site footage, documents, and in-depth historical analysis, this segment re-creates the historical period to provide an overview of the events and family that forged modern Europe. Between Empire and Nation examines the liberal forces at work in the 19th century, the conservative policies of the Hapsburg rulers, and the inevitable results of this conflict. It shows how demands for greater freedom, combined with Metternich's resignation, eventually resulted in greater oppression. In examining the revolution of 1848, the program shows the resulting policy of security over liberty and preservation rather than renewal. The nation that emerged from this period remained the keystone of an empire - until the assassination in 1914 of the last Hapsburg heir triggered a world war.

Herders of Mongun-Taiga: The Tuvans of Mongolia, 1989 45 min - VHS
(Disappearing World Series) Provides a rare glimpse at the lives of the Tuvans, nomadic herders who live on the Russian-Mongolian border. Mongun-Taiga "sacred wilderness" - is one of the bleakest areas in Tuva. The people of Mongun-Taiga are descendents of aboriginal Siberian forest people, living for the most part on the pastures in yurts - moveable felt tents - and subsisting through the nomadic herding of yaks, sheep, horses and goats. Wolves and snow leopards are a constant threat to their flocks, arable farming is impossible as even the lowest village is at some 6,000 feet above sea level. This program captures the life style of the people of this inhospitable landscape, who number among their customs a storytelling tradition which requires a whole day to tell just one story and the remarkable musical phenomenon of "throat singing." Directed by John Sheppard.

Hermitage, 1994 159 min - VHS (3 videotapes, 53 min each)
Three volume set directed by John Beahrend explores the history and collections of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.

  1. Catherine the Great: A Lust for Art uses words from This video places Catherine's art collecting in several important historical contexts: Russian concerns with being taken seriously by the Western European powers, the Enlightenment and notions of autocracy, and Peter the Great's legacy, including the creation of the city of St. Petersburg. In short, the video, correctly, treats the Hermitage as a critical part of the fabric of the city and of the monarch's aspirations. It makes good use of both Catherine's own correspondence and of footage of the city. Unfortunately, for someone without a background in eighteenth century, the video might be a bit hard to follow as it chronologically and geographically bounces around a fair bit. -- S. Smith, Ph.D., History.
  2. Tyrants and Heroes: The Nineteenth Century Czars. The beautiful filming and use of contemporary drawings continues in this second video. Unfortunately, this video makes historical arguments regarding the reigns and personalities of the two longest-ruling nineteenth-century tsars which today are highly debated in the field of Russian history. In short, it seriously oversimplifies by overstating the case for Nicholas I as reactionary and the case for Alexander II as liberal. By reinforcing the stereotypes (as the first video did by pairing Catherine II and lust), it increases the dramatic appeal of its story, but fails as a serious historical consideration of nineteenth century Russian politics and culture. -- S. Smith, Ph.D., History.
  3. From Czars to Commissars: A Museum Survives. In the third hour of The Hermitage, vintage film footage illustrates the horrors of war, revolution and siege. It also explores the breathtaking works of Matisse, Renoir, Picasso, and other great artists contained in the last great Russian private art collections.

Historia Polski W Malarstwie: Poland's History In Painting, 1988 109 min - VHS
Poland's history in painting from prehistoric times to 1945. Major historical events in artistic visions of top Polish painters: Jan Matejko, Wojciech Kossak, Jacek Malczewski, Piotr Michalowski, Artur Grottger, Jozef Brandt and others. Directed by Bozena Walter. Polish (no subtitles).

Hungarian Uprising: 1956, (prior to) 1990 12 min - VHS
This program shows the steely face of Communism as the Soviets sent troops to Hungary to suppress popular discontent with the government. The program shows what happened in the aftermath of Prime Minister Imre Nagy's announcement that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact: Soviet troops entered Budapest and other centers and simply crushed the revolt. Thousands of Hungarians died and 150,000 fled the country. The program shows the uprising and its aftermath: Hungary's resumption of its place in the Eastern Bloc (which included joining Soviet troops in putting down the Czech attempts at liberalization in 1968); the exile of Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty in the U.S. Embassy; and the gradual economic reforms that made Hungary the most Western part of the Eastern Bloc.

Hungary: Land of Hospitality, 1990 55 min - VHS
(Video Visits) A video tour with narration and music through Hungary. Land of baroque palaces and cobblestone streets echoing with gypsy rhapsodies. Journey to Budapest, along the Danube River where old world charm mixes with modern vitality. In the Castle Hill district, meander along Fisherman's Bastion, gaze at the neo-Gothic Matthias Church, tour the Royal Palace. Discover the medieval city of Pecs and tour Zsolnay's porcelain factory. Ride horseback with the csikos on the prairies of the Great Plain. In Eger, sample Tokay, the "wine of kings."

I Was Stalin's Bodyguard, 1990 73 min - VHS
A controversial film that created a storm in Russia by taking the cloak off a violent, repressive era of Soviet history. Filmmaker Semyon Aranovich found the last surviving personal bodyguard of Josef Stalin, who began to work for him in the 1930s. I Was Stalin's Bodyguard weaves together unprecedented, first-hand testimony with rare footage, including Stalin's home movies. What emerges is a singular portrait of a violent and complex era during which Stalin consolidated his power through brutal repression, yet led the Soviet Union to victory in World War II.

Icebreaker: Family Life in the Soviet Union, 1989 6 hours - VHS (6 videotapes, 52 min each)
Classroom version (includes viewing guide) - each episode is divided into 2 parts of about 24 minutes each. The series travels across the entire breadth of the vast Soviet Union, from ocean coast to the brutal hinterland of the arctic circle, through three seasons, eleven time zones, and a sixth of the planet's land mass, to create the broadest, most penetrating, most intimate, and the most truly human view of the Soviet people ever filmed. This series puts politics aside and looks at the daily lives of the Soviet people. Six Soviet families, different races and cultures, chosen across the vast breadth of the USSR, from rich to poor, from city to mountain, forest to farmland, ocean coast to the arctic circle. (For viewing guide see REECAS Secretary.)

  1. The Professionals: The Baltic Republic of Estonia -The Sibul family of 4 lives in Estonia's coastal capital - medieval Tallinn. The Sibuls have a large private home on the coast, a late model family car, a private sauna, an enormous dog. They are a well-off, successful family, at home in the professional class of any society. They belong to the local yacht club, they travel extensively, their friends are artists, writers, musicians, and medical colleagues.
  2. The Performers: The Asian Republic of Uzbekistan - The Fazildjanova family of 4 are Uzbek people, central Asians who live in the Moslem heartland of the USSR, famous for ancient cities like Tashkent, and Samarkand on the old Silk Route. Today Tashkent is a city of modern avenues, home to some of the USSR's best regarded universities and of one of its three top ballet schools. The Fazildjanova family are connected with dance and music.
  3. The Mountain People: The Caucasian Republic of Georgia - The Guraspishvili family lives in the village of Gremi, a small settlement in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, where people are known to commonly survive beyond 100 years. It's a large family of five generations, spread through a number of the stone built houses of the village. The village is an ancient Christian community, its life built on grapes and wine, but full too of the crafts of their past  textiles, music, metal work, woodwork.
  4. The Farmers: The Plains of Russia - The Petrenko family of 7 lives in a country town of 8000 people in the heart of the agricultural plains of Russia's southern Kuban region, original homeland of the Cossacks. Sergi is a combine operator on the vast 25,000-acre, collective farm which he and all the other townsfolk privately own as a co-operative enterprise. They're a hard-working family, like farmers all over the world, tough and weathered people, who enjoy their lives, love the earth, and are proud of their Cossack history.
  5. The Pioneers: The Far East Pacific Coast - The Korets family are the only purely Russian family in the series. They live in Nahodka, a major commercial port on the USSR's far eastern coast behind Japan, ten days from Moscow on the Trans-Siberian Express. Igor works on the docks, his wife is a nurse and they have a son eight years old. They live in a large block complex where they have a small apartment comprising just lounge, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Their life is full. For these pioneer people of the Soviet far east have learned to provide much for themselves, half a world away from the throbbing heart of their western Russian homeland.
  6. The Reindeer People: The Forests of Arctic Siberia - The family is that of a woman who lives alone with her 7 year old son and her mother. They are Evenki people, one of the indigenous races of Siberia. They share a log cabin in the village of Nakanno which is isolated in a way few westerners can appreciate, and is in contact with the outside world only through radio-telegraph, or the small bi-plane which services it. The economy of Nakanno revolves largely around fur trapping.

Immortal Fortress: A Look Inside Chechnya's Warrior Culture, 1999 52 min - VHS
This film explores Chechnya's war-driven culture, while searching for its most prolific modern warrior, Shamil Basayev. To Russia and the West, Basayev is a terrorist, but to many in Chechnya, a hero. The surprise attack on the Russian city Budyonnovsk in 1995 and the invasion of Dagestan in 1999 have given Basayev international attention and brought Russia back to the battlefield. Directed by Dodge Billingsley. English & Russian with English subtitles.

Inside the Soviet Union: Before Gorbachev, 1977 50 min - VHS
Made in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution, the film documents the history of the Soviet Union for those 60 years, emphasizing progress and the success of the communist system. Using some extraordinary and extraordinarily old footage (some from 1916 of the Czar), this film chronicles "The Road to Happiness" provided by Lenin and his theories. A crash-course in 20th century Russian history, from a very Soviet point of view. (black & white / color).

Islamic Resurgence and Holy War: The Former Soviet Union and Indonesia, 1999 52 min - VHS
Over the last decade, Islam has swiftly grown in popularity-so much so that today one in every five people on Earth is a follower of Muhammad. But with this resurgence has come an increase in friction between Muslims and non-Muslims. Segment one of this program focuses on four divinity school students from Tatarstan who dropped out to join the jihad in Chechnya, while segment two tracks the efforts of President Abdurrahman Wahid to make peace between rioting Muslims and Christians on the Indonesian island of Ambon. This video is part of the series "Islam Rising".

Ivan the Terrible, 1999 50 min - VHS
His name conjures images of senseless brutality, yet in Russia, Ivan the Terrible is considered by many a national hero, even a man of God. Filmed on location, this documentary presents a thorough biography of Russia's despot of contradictions. Also highlighted is how Stalin admired Ivan and saw in him a role model and useful symbol of the state. The program offers readings of Ivan's diary and letters, interviews with leading scholars, and extensive footage from Sergei Eisenstein's classic film - personally commissioned by Stalin - about Russia's first Czar. The Oprichniki, the dreaded brotherhood sworn to protecting Ivan, are seen as a precursor to Stalin's secret police.

Jacob the Liar, 1974 (Fiction - Not Rated) 96 min - DVD
Trapped in a Polish ghetto with thousands of other Jews, Jacob overhears a radio report about a nearby Russian victory. Eventually, he decides to pass on the news of hope to his fellow prisoners. However, in order to be believed, he feigns access to a radio and becomes a bulwark against despair, and a reluctant but tragic hero. Remade in 1999 with Robin Williams. Directed by Frank Beyer. German with English subtitles.

Jazzman, 1984 80 min -VHS
In the 1920's a young musician is expelled from a conservatory for playing the decadent Western form of music known as ragtime. He puts together a jazz group, recruiting two street musicians and a former saxophonist in the Czar’s marching band. The quartet faces many comic situations before recognition including a performance at a notorious gangster’s birthday party and the intrepid pursuit of “the world’s greatest jazz singers.” Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. Russian with English subtitles.

Journey of Butterfly, 1995 62 min - VHS
This documentary weaves together the music, art, poetry, and history of children imprisoned by the Nazis in the ghetto at Terezin in Czechoslovakia from 1941 to 1945. Charles Davidson has set the poetry written by the children during that time to music in the concert "I Never Saw Another Butterfly." 50 years later The American Boychoir traveled to Czechoslovakia to perform the concert. The few children who survived tell their stories in the film. Directed by Robert Frye.

Journey to the Sacred Sea, 1990 60 min - VHS
(NOVA) A documentary on Lake Baikal. Twenty-five million years ago, seismic events in Siberia created the world's largest and oldest freshwater lake -- Baikal. Fed by over 300 mountain streams and rivers, the 400-mile Lake Baikal holds more water than all five of the Great Lakes together. It is also home to more than 2,500 species of plants and animals, half of which cannot be found anywhere else on the Earth. To the indigenous people of Siberia, Baikal was known as the Sacred Sea, immortalized in legend, folklore, and poetry. Today, people continue to utilize the lake's vast resources. Yet human activity often threatens the very resources people depend on, and some worry that human encroachment and industrial pollution could make Baikal's ecological future uncertain. NOVA takes a close look at this ecological system and explores the risks it faces.

Kalinka, 1995 15 min - VHS
A performance of the Russian folk song as interpreted by students from Highland Park Elementary School.

Kolyma, 1997 2 hours 15 min - VHS (3 videotapes, 45 min each)
In Communist Russia, power was obtained and maintained through fear and violence. Many Russians, who were considered enemies of the Communist government, were sent to concentration camps in Siberia to mine for gold and other valuable minerals. Through starvation, disease, random executions, subfreezing temperatures, over 2 million Russian citizens died. "Kolyma" was the worst of these camps. This documentary is based on eye witness testimony, archive records, surviving documentary footage, and our own filming of the remains of the "Kolyma" concentration camp. Director's cut. Winner of both the Berlin and Amsterdam Documentary Film Festivals.

Kosovo: Of Blood and History, 1999 41 min - VHS
To fully understand the recent bloodshed in Kosovo, one must go back 600 years and trace the causes of the undying hatreds that permeate Serbia and the surrounding region. Using eyewitness accounts, maps, and footage both of historic events and of Serbian life, this program examines the ethnic nationalism and religious extremism that have resulted in the long-standing hatred between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians-a hatred that continued to destabilize the Balkans throughout (and because of) the Milosevic regime.

Kovno Ghetto: A Buried History, 1996 100 min - VHS
Before WWII, 35,000 Jews lived in Kovno, Lithuania; few escaped the Holocaust. The people of Kovno risked their lives to record their fate in thousands of photographs and documents. Many of these artifacts survived the war, and they form the most complete record of any Jewish community's experience during the Holocaust. This program pieces together the story of the Jews of Kovno from the first stirrings of war to the annihilation of the ghetto just days before the city's liberation. 18 survivors, including photographer Zvi Kadushin, whose images are the heart of Kovno's legacy, tell their stories.

Landmarks of Faith: Russian Orthodox Alaska, 1999 46 min - VHS
In the early 19th century, two gold crosses atop St. Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral marked the low skyline of Sitka, in the old Russian colony we now know as Alaska. The town was built near a Tlingit village amidst the immense wilderness where fur traders reaped fortunes from the pelts of seals and sea otters. Into this world stepped Father Ivan Veniaminov, a gentle giant over six feet tall, whose energy and intelligence bridged the diverse cultures. It is also the world of Father Herman, the ascetic monk who commanded a tidal wave to be calm, and spoke with angels.

Lenin and His Legacy, 1990 30 min - VHS
This program traces the life and legacy of Lenin, the philosophical and political founding father of the Soviet Union, the starring actor as well as the writer and director of much of the drama from the earliest days of the Russian revolutionary movement. When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, Lenin became the President of the Council of People's Commissars and remained the active head of the Soviet government until his death in 1924. Using documentary footage dating back to 1896 (when Tsar Nicholas was crowned), the program shows pre-revolutionary Russia, the Revolution, and the events after Lenin's death: the treason trials of the 1930s, World War II, the death of Stalin and many of his successors, Gorbachev's call for reforms, the successes and failures in Soviet ventures, and the shifts in domestic and foreign policy - all in the name of Lenin. (black & white / color).

Lenin: Voice of Revolution, 1997 50 min - VHS
He combined lofty idealism with deadly ruthlessness. He forged an empire that changed the face of the world. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was one of the most influential people of the 20th century. His vision for communism shaped the Soviet Union into a world power, and inspired political unrest in countless other countries. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, newly unsealed documents help tell the truth about Lenin. This program profiles the fanatical philosopher who was catapulted to power by an incredible combination of passion, luck and unlikely alliances. Valentin Berezhkov, an interpreter for Stalin, reveals "Uncle Joe's" feelings for his predecessor, while Soviet historians examine his rise and rule. Excerpts from Lenin's writings expose his fixation on violence. Rare footage shows the Bolshevik leader at the height of his power, before strokes weakened and eventually killed him at the age of 53. From his childhood experiences to the debate over what should be done with his body, this is a remarkable portrait of one of the 20th century's towering figures.

Lost Empires of Asia and Russia, 2004 52 min - VHS
"Lost City of the Shang" (28 minute documentary) brings China’s first dynasty to life via dramatizations and scrutiny of oracle bones and other artifacts from Anyang. Shorter segments cover Asoka and the beginnings of Buddhism in India, Russia’s 1905 uprising against Czar Nicholas II, and the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. Program features include questions before viewing, student-friendly narration, same-age learners responding to online questions (sample: What can people do when the government ignores them?), and links to books and Websites. Ideal for reinforcing textbook lessons, initiating units, or motivating research.

Making of Russia: 1480-1860, 1983 26 min - VHS
Examines the history of Russia from the establishment of its first imperial dynasty to the 19th century. From the Viking expansion, the first Russian dynasty - the Ruriks was created. It then covers the rise of Muscovy and the later conquests into Siberia. In the 17th century, under Peter the Great St. Petersburg was built. Under Catherine the Great and her successors, Russia developed into an empire. Peasant unrest then led to the disintegration of the Russian Tsarist system.

Mark of Cain, 2000 73 min - VHS
The Mark of Cain, by Alix Lambert, explores the dying art of Russian prison tattoos to offer audiences an understanding of conflict and transition in contemporary Russia. Through intimate interviews that enable the prisoners to talk about their life experiences, body art, and living conditions, a powerful story emerges of tension between prisoners of different generations and different social-economic systems. The Mark of Cain documents for the first time the disappearing artistic practice of Russian prison tattoos; further, the project investigates the nature of change in Russia by examining what is happening in the country's prisons.

Messengers from Moscow, 1995 4 hours - VHS (4 videotapes, 60 min each)
Five years after the collapse of the Soviet empire, formerly top-secret information is coming to light. Political leaders, military personnel and spies who built and ran the country speak candidly about what the Soviet Union really wanted during the 40 year long Cold War. Written and directed by Daniel Wolf.

  1. The Struggle for Europe recounts the story of Stalin's attempt to take control of Germany and Western Europe in the aftermath of WWII. Soviet agents and communist officials tell of their efforts to seize political power in the war-torn European states, a goal frustrated by Western resolve and Stalin's own ruthless methods.
  2. The East is Red - leading officials in Moscow and Beijing recount how the dream of a growing communist power bloc uniting the Soviet Union and China tuned into Moscow's biggest nightmare. This program offers new evidence that points to Stalin as the key to the outbreak of the Korean War - part of his strategy to keep communist China in line.
  3. Fires in the Third World features the testimony of top administrators of Soviet policy, as well as KGB agents and military leaders, who reveal the Kremlin's hand in Cuba and Vietnam. This episode includes rare home movies from Khrushchev family personal archives, and new insights into controversial events like the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  4. The Center Collapses - pivotal figures from the last decade of Soviet power recount the startling collapse of the empire. Soviet political, military and KGB officials reveal how Lenin's idea of world revolution led to the growth of a military-industrial complex that ultimately, proved to be the revolution's undoing.

Milosz, Czeslaw, 1989 60 min - VHS
Czeslaw Milosz, born in Lithuania in 1911 to a Polish-speaking family, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1980. Mr. Milosz is one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. He reads from "The collected Poems", "The Separate Notebooks", and "Unattainable Earth". The reading took place on September 12, 1988, in Los Angeles. Mr. Milosz was interviewed by poet Lewis MacAdams.

Miss Sarajevo

Miss Sarajevo is a surreal and startling portrait of Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia, during the height of the city's siege. Winner of the International Monitor Award, Golden Hugo, and the Maverick Director Award (Newport Beach Film Festival). Instead of following the scenes of carnage that the main media so often squeezes into thirty second dramatic sound bites, Carter's camera follows the alternative scene of artists, young people and the people determined to live as normal a life as they could under the most difficult and dangerous conditions.


Mongol Empire, 1989 30 min - DVD
(Timeline series) In a mock news report journalists report on events occurring during the time of the Mongol Empire and its effects on Europe and the Near East and stage interviews with historical and common persons living at the time.

Mongols: Storm from the East, (prior to) 1994 3 hours 20 min - VHS (4 videotapes, 50 min each)
This series covers the life and accomplishments of Genghis Khan and examines the art, culture, science and technology of Mongol civilization. Genghis Khan left not only a highly trained army, but also the beginning of an imperial administrative framework, a system of taxation, a communications network-all of which were built upon and expanded by his successors. The series was filmed on location in Mongolia and also features battle re-enactments shot at historical locations throughout Europe and Asia. 4 part series.

  1. Birth of an Empire - In the People's Republic of Mongolia, the reputation of Genghis Khan has undergone a dramatic transformation - from despised enemy of the revolution to a virtual deity. This program examines how Genghis Khan emerged from obscurity, united the Mongol tribes, and transformed a nomadic people into a formidable fighting machine. This episode traces his campaigns through northern China, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Georgia and Russia, building the foundations of a powerful empire.
  2. World Conquerors - This program explores the power and influence of the Mongol Empire, under the rule of Khan and his son, Ogodei. More than 1,000 miles from the sea, the Mongol capital of Karakorum was constructed-a kind of Brasilia of the steppes. A communications system and thousands of miles of highways were built to connect Karakorum with the far frontiers of the empire, enabling Ogodei to consolidate his power. Within a few years, northern China was conquered, the Russian principalities were forced to submit; Poland and Hungary were overrun; and a united European army of knights, templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic knights was completely devastated.
  3. Tartar Crusades - This program explores Europe's initial response to the Mongol onslaught, which was to presume it some form of divine retribution sent to punish a sinful world. In 1243, Pope Innocent IV sent forth a series of emissaries to glean the will of the Mongol lords and persuade them to consider Christianity. Unexpectedly, the papal envoy discovered a government of ambassadors and emissaries that actively encouraged religious tolerance, resulting in the widespread flourish of Christianity.
  4. The Last Khan of Khans - This program traces the life of the fifth Great Khan, Kublai Khan, who preferred to make his home in China, where he ruled as the first emperor of the Yuan dynasty. Upon his succession to power, he set out to unite the entire nation. It took 14 years of war and a lifetime devoted to winning the hearts and minds of the Chinese, which he largely accomplished by being a great patron of the arts and sciences. Kublai lacked, however, his grandfather's military acumen and sent ill-fated military expeditions to Java, Southeast Asia, and Japan that produced disastrous results. Though his achievements had world significance, he died a disappointed man with the empire showing signs of decay.

Moscow & Leningrad, 1990 50 min - VHS
(Video Visits) An audio and video tour of Moscow and Leningrad, the crown jewels of Russia. Journey to Moscow, home to 8 million people. Enter the Kremlin, a walled city within a city and seat of government. See the pageantry of Red Square, Lenin's tomb, St. Basil's Cathedral, the Bolshoi Ballet and Moscow circus. Join the people at Gorky Park. In Leningrad, Russia's cultural capital, tour Palace Square, see Alexander's column, the world's tallest granite monolith. Visit the Winter Palace, homer of the Hermitage Museum, and the Palace of Petrodvorets, with miles of waterfalls and fountains.

Napoleon Invades Russia, 1997 30 min - VHS
(History’s Turning Points II series, volume eleven) The French army is destroyed by the Russian winter and a new Empire is created. In 1812 Napoleon, Emperor of France, determines to defeat Alexander I Tsar of all Russias and establish himself as the most formidable military leader in Europe. He sets out to conquer Russia with half a million men. Although he captures Moscow, the Russian capital, hundreds of thousands of soldiers die, frozen or starved to death on Russia's open plains. Rather than the greatest of his military Victories, Napoleon's invasion of Russia becomes a disorganized retreat. His dream of a united Europe under France is destroyed forever.

New Russia, 1996 100 min - VHS (5 videotapes, 20 min each)
Using views from space and three-dimensional graphics, this series brings the scale and diversity of Russia to life. With the help of a young reporter/guide, this 5 part series provides information on this vast, dynamic country, visiting different and important parts of the country, from the vast farmlands of the south, to Moscow, to the Arctic Circle. It shows how Russia is adapting to freedom and democracy.

  1. The Moscow Region - Moscow and its surrounding region represent the largest population center in Russia. This program looks at what makes this city of 10 million distinctive as a great capital city, and examines Moscow's role as the center of urban and economic development in the new Russia. 3-D graphic simulations of Moscow allow the viewer to "fly" across the landscape and into Moscow to understand its network or roads, railroads and suburbs. This program visits several businesses, a factory, a bank and the biggest McDonald's in the world.
  2. The Kuzbass - This program travels on the Trans-Siberian Railway nearly 1,000 miles east of Moscow to Novo-Kuznetsk, in the center of the Kuzbass. The Kuzbass is a region deep in Siberia, with bone-chilling winters, bordered by forests and marshes on one side and mountains on the other. It is also at the heart of Russia's heavy industrial heartland. The program explores the town of Novo-Kuznetsk, which is dominated by a huge steel mill that can be seen and smelled from anywhere in town. We look at the old Stalinist center of town and its high-rise suburbs, and visit a country house (dacha) in the surrounding wooded mountains. The program also interviews local residents who describe what life is like in the region.
  3. The Volga River - This program explores the characteristics of a great river system as we travel its length, from its source between Moscow and St. Petersburg to its delta on the Caspian Sea. The program examines many of the river's characteristics, from the reservoirs formed by a series of huge hydroelectric dams to the concentration of heavy industry on the river and the resulting pollution, and explores the river's vital importance to commerce. Boatmen, ecologists, marine biologists, and sturgeon fishermen also contribute their impressions of life on and around the Volga.
  4. The Steppes of North Caucasus - This program joins a small group of farmers for the wheat harvest on the vast plains of the Russian Steppes. It is some of the best farmland in the country - flat, fertile, and very hot in the summer - and it's about as far south as one can go in the new Russia. The program explores the impact of farming methods and the way of life for Russian farmers, as the giant collective farms of the Communist era have given way to farmers who now own their land. Using 3-D graphics and aerial photography, the program flies over the region to allow us to see the region's geographical relationship to the rest of Russia.
  5. Norilsk: Life in the Arctic - Although northern Russia is one of the most inhospitable places on earth, over 200,000 people live in the city of Norlisk, which lies inside the Arctic Circle. This program explores this extraordinary city and its surrounding tundra. The area is rich in minerals and the program focuses on how its delicate ecology is affected by open cast mining, nickel smelting, and oil pipelines. The region can only be reached by air or through a nearby port. The program visits in midwinter and observes as an icebreaker clears a channel. The program also travels into the arctic wilderness to meet the nomadic native peoples and experience their way of life and to understand the impact that the industrialization of the area has had on them.

Nicholas and Alexandra, 1994 100 min - VHS
The tragic story of Russia's last Czar and his Czarina revealed. Now, with the opening of the former Soviet Union, the true story of Nicholas and Alexandra can be told. Filmed on location, across the former Soviet Union and Europe, this production presents a treasure trove of information, including intimate diaries, letters and personal effects from the once-sealed Imperial Archives. Chilling eyewitness accounts, testimony from executioners, and a somber exhumation finally put to rest the enigma of their dynasty's horrifying end. Directed by Michael Beckham.

On Tour with the Blue Berets, 1998 50 min - VHS
The light brigade, Terry Moyemont and Stephen Maly, traveled to the crucible of the Balkans in 1998 to document the U.N.'s first preventive deployment of peace keeping forces (UNPREDEP). Following US and Finnish soldiers on their patrols, they also documented the effect of this "peace umbrella" on Macedonia civil society. This story of successful conflict prevention stands in sharp contrast to past U.N. interventions, as well as to events in Kosovo and the NATO bombing campaign against Serbia.

Oratorio for Prague, 1968 26 min - VHS
The movie was begun as a documentary about the liberation of Czechoslovakia and then continued when the Russian tanks moved in. It is the only filmed record of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. This gripping document also includes never-before-seen vignettes from the Prague Spring before the invasion. Directed by Jan Nemec, (black & white).

Origin and Development of NATO, 1991 21 min - DVD
Post-World War II celebration among the Allies quickly turned to fear and suspicion as country after country in Europe fell under the domination of the Soviet Union. In this program, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Warsaw Pact alliances are studied, along with NATO's Cold War policy of containment, designed to keep the Soviet "iron curtain" from encroaching further upon Western Europe. The Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, China's shift to communism, and the Korean Conflict are also examined. After more than 40 years of tension, a combination of unrelenting NATO vigilance and the changing attitudes within the USSR - plus its economic collapse and subsequent loss of power-brought an end to Cold War concerns about a superpower struggle that could have ignited World War III.

Out of the Present, 1996 95 min - DVD
The true story of astronaut Sergei Krikalev who blasts off into space in May 1991 from the Soviet Union. As Krikalev orbits the planet Earth, however, his country collapses and ceases to exist. He is unable to return as scheduled. When he ultimately does come back to Earth, the Soviet Union is no more, his hometown of Leningrad is now St. Petersburg and his world has been transformed. Directed by Andrei Ujica.

Peter the Great, 1990 30 min - VHS
A documentary on the great reforming tsar who forever changed his nation. Suitable for middle and high school students. This program is devoted to a portrait of the extraordinary and contradictory czar, the Oriental Russia into which he was born and how he turned Russia toward Europe, of the problems he faced and the brutal solutions he imposed, the city he built and the spirit he aroused. It also tells of his conflict with Sweden and the Battle of Poltava.

Peter the Great: The Tyrant Reformer, 2000 50 min - VHS
He was a Renaissance man not long after that legendary time, mastering over 20 crafts while leading Russia through decades of warfare and massive change. At 6'7" he towered over his countrymen, literally and figuratively. Peter the Great embodied vast contradictions befitting the massive country he ruled. Cultured and cruel, brutal and dedicated, tyrant and reformer, he lived life on a titanic scale and cast a shadow over his nation that lingers to this day. This biography draws on a vast collection of archival material and the research of scholars like Nicholas Riasanovsky and Dr. Paul Bushkovitch of the University of California to explore the life of the Czar who almost single-handedly modernized and Westernized his vast country. Examining the internal reforms he instituted and the wars he waged, as well as the life he led within the private chambers of his vast palaces, this is a captivating portrait of one of the most fascinating figures of all time. From 1696 to 1725, he ruled Russia with an iron hand, and his life and legacy have captivated generation after generation ever since.

Poland: A Proud Heritage, 1989 55 min - VHS
(Video Visits) The hospitable people of Poland welcome you to their friendly country. Journey to Warsaw, the capital, filled with newly restored historical buildings. In Castle Square, gaze at the Royal Castle and Sigmund's Column, the symbol of the city. Tour Krakow's Wawel Hill, the ancient seat of Polish kings, and enjoy Polish folklore in the Tatra mountains. Bask in the sun at Gdansk and experience the splendid serenity of Bialowieza Forest - Europe's last virgin woodland. Pause in commemoration at the Auschwitz memorial. Glide down the picturesque Dunajec River, then visit the monastery of Jasna Gora, where millions of Poles make an annual pilgrimage to see the famed Black Madonna.

Poland: “We’ve Caught God by the Arm,” 2000 31 min - VHS
Chronicles the 1980 Gdansk Shipyard strike that won Poles the right to have free trade unions, launched the Solidarity movement, and catapulted Lech Walesa on a path of leadership that eventually won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 and led to the fall of communism in Poland.

Portrait of The Soviet Union, 1988 100 min - VHS (2 videotapes, 50 min each)
This series (7 parts - REECAS owns 2 parts) reveals histories and personalities of over 100 nationalities and 15 republics that make up the Soviet Union.

  1. The End of All the Earth - This episode focuses on one of the most remote places on earth, which still preserves the cultures of the ancient people who live here - Georgians, Armenians and Dagastanis. The wine is robust, the commerce profitable and the people are a cherished source of art and music for the whole nation. The woman who founded the world-famous Georgian Dancers tells of the connection between dance and their national heritage. A group of hundred-year-olds induct a new member into their "club." Here at "the end of all the earth," local cultures flourish within a socialist system.
  2. The Golden Road - Brings viewers face to face with the descendants of the great Mongol warriors who invaded and settled the Central Asian region of the USSR. It shows how the Soviets have transformed much of the region from a 15th century existence to a 20th century society without destroying the fabric of their ethnic heritage.

Post-Soviet Russia: Promises Deferred, 1997 55 min - VHS
This program examines how the Russian city of Gorky has adapted to a free-enterprise system. We see public reaction to the auction of government property, and the opening of private markets. Class divisions become apparent in interviews with the Russian nouveau riche, the Mafia, and average citizens. Ordinary people, tired of waiting for economic benefits promised through privatization, support communist political candidates who promise renewed state control and a return to traditional Russian values. The city is shown as being torn apart by violent tensions and antagonisms that exist between advocates of reform and Neo-Communists.

Power of Place: World Regional Geography, 1996 30 min - VHS videotape
Produced by Cambridge Studios for the Annenberg/CPB Collection, this documentary video made of case studies filmed on location with commentary from noted geography scholar H. J. de Blij, gives students a "feel" for the local while computer-generated maps and animation help illuminate concepts. This program contains 2 parts from a unit on Europe:

  1. Supranationalism and Devolution - (case studies)
    a) Coexistence of French and German culture in Strasbourg.
    b) Recent birth of Slovakia and Czech Republic
  2. East looks West - (case studies)
    a) Berlin's transition from a weakened and divided city to one of emerging importance
    b) Diffusion of democratic ideas throughout Poland

Power Trip, 2004 85 min - DVD
With its rampant corruption, political assassinations and regular street riots, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia is, in the words of one journalist, "a basket case." During the country’s old Soviet days, electric power was cheap—or even free. But when AES Corp., a massive "global power company," purchases the privatized electricity distribution company in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, everything changes. Power Trip is the story of the tragicomic clash of cultures that results when an American energy conglomerate takes over a formerly state-run electricity company in a country whose residents are, at best, ambivalent, and, at worst, furious about its presence there. As it explores the implications of a Western-fueled pursuit of globalization and privatization, Power Trip’s surprisingly humorous, non-fiction narrative provides insight into today's headlines while also offering an affectionate and entertaining glimpse into a country struggling to rebuild itself from the rubble of Soviet collapse.

Pretty Village Pretty Flame, 1996 (Fiction - Rated R) 125 min - DVD
Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles Based on a true story, this film is about two young friends, a Muslim and a Serb, who watch the inauguration of the new Brotherhood and Unity Tunnel in their neighborhood in 1980. 12 years later, the two friends now on opposite sides of a battle in the very same tunnel then found themselves in the hospital together recalling past events. Directed by Srdjan Dragojevic.

Prisoner of the Mountains, 1996 (Fiction - Rated R) 99 min - VHS
A moral drama of love and war, Sergei Bodrov's Academy Award-nominated film is an update of Tolstoy's classic tale of the Caucasus (Walk in the Light - short story), set in the context of the contemporary conflicts between Russians and Chechens. Russian with English subtitles.

Pushkin, Alexander, 1999 30 min - VHS
This short biography of Pushkin's life does not grapple with the poet's vital legacy or his work. While providing a wonderful mix of imagery from historical prints and paintings, and Pushkin's own doodles, to contemporary landscape photography, the video does not use any of Pushkin's poems or narrative fiction to evoke the author. The video would serve nicely as a quick overview of the life of a leading figure and as a window onto the life of the elite and of the state in early nineteenth century Russia. -- S. Smith, Ph.D., History.

Putin, Vladimir, 2006 50 min - DVD
Putin was a spy in the old USSR who has become the leader of modern Russia. But while his leadership has helped stabilize the nation, there are many who say he is stirring up echoes of its communist past. He is one of the most powerful men on earth. This program draws on Soviet-era archives, insights from diplomats and rare interviews with people who know him personally to tell Putin's remarkable story. Trace his remarkable rise to prominence and see how he has grown into his role as leader of one of the world's largest nations. Learn little-known facts about his childhood and private life, and explore the shadowy details of his 17 years in espionage. Produced by A & E Home Video - Biography.

Putin: A Bitter Decision, 2002 49 min - DVD
In the mind of Vladimir Putin, 9/11/01 marked the day that triggered a chain of events that ended with Russia's acceptance into the ranks of the West-but at a terrible cost to national pride and the balance of nuclear power. This program narrates the circumstances leading to President Putin's bitter decision to trade U.S. approval of the war in Chechnya for what has proved to be a diminished role in world politics. Footage of Putin, George W. Bush, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo, and Djuma Namangani, military commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, is featured, along with gripping images of New York's Ground Zero and Central Asian Islamist extremists in action.

Putin: Stairway to Power, 2002 49 min - DVD
This program tracks the career of Vladimir Putin from KGB spymaster for the USSR to president of the Russian Federation. Footage of landmark events-the fall of the Berlin Wall, the election and re-election of Boris Yeltsin, the war against Chechnya, terrorist attacks on Moscow-are featured, as well as archival interviews with former Stasi official Horst Jemlich, former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir Gusinsky, al Qaeda-trained Chechen army commander Omar ibn al-Khattab, the IMF's Michel Camdessus, former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, and Putin himself.

Rasputin: The Mad Monk, 1999 50 min - VHS
Grigoriy Rasputin, 1817(?) -1916. Charismatic Russian "monk," who became a powerful figure in the court of Czar Nicholas II before the Romanov dynasty was swept aside by the Russian Revolution of 1917. As the Orthodox Church established hegemony in Russia, various dissenting sect groups emerged, among them the Khlysty. Rasputin came into contact with the Khlysty in about 1890. Later he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, traveling across Turkey. For the next few years, he became a wandering staretz (lay priest). He was widely believed to possess occult power, which made him both loved and feared. He manifested gifts of healing and prophecy. Rasputin came to the attention of the czar of Russia with his gift of healing. He became an indispensable adviser and healer to the royal family until his murder by Prince Yussupov. Directed by Jan Nemec.

Realms of the Russian Bear, 1992 6 hours - VHS (6 videotapes, 60 min each)
A PBS nature series that explores the diverse ecology of Russia.

  1. Green Jewel of the Caspian - The Volga Delta is a lush green triangle of land at the northern end of the Caspian Sea. It is one of Russia's most important wetlands and contains its oldest nature reserve, Astrakhan, where European, Asian and African species of wildlife mingle. Spring floods fertilize the delta and trigger the breeding of fish, amphibians and birds. Here, also, sturgeon and beluga migrate northwards to spawn. As a result, the delta yields an abundance of caviar, the "black pearls of Astrakhan."
  2. The Arctic Frontier - The Russian Arctic is the realm of the great white bear. Around 10,000 polar bears roam this region of ice and snow, which stretches from the Kola Peninsula to the Bering Straits. It encompasses one of Russia's most treasured and beautiful nature reserves, Wrangel Island. The Arctic is home, too, to the musk-ox, reintroduced to the former Soviet Union from the U.S. in the 1970s. Other varieties of wildlife include the rare, red-breasted geese, dainty pink Ross's gulls and more than 3 million reindeer and the people who herd them, the Chukkchi. It is a land of hunters and the hunted - of lemmings and their predators, Arctic foxes, buzzards and also of walruses - the preferred prey of the polar bears.
  3. The Red Deserts - This program takes a close look at the surprising abundance of wildlife in the deserts of Central Asia, which cover an area larger than the whole of Western Europe. In the far south lies a nature reserve that is barren and waterless for most of the year, but which becomes ablaze with color in springtime, when melting snows bring poppy fields and pistachio groves to life. Vultures wheel over limestone canyons, desert monitors hunt fast-breeding giant gerbils, and Kulan - the wild asses of Central Asia - roam the savannah with fleet gazelles. Further north is the Karakum Desert, Central Asia's equivalent of the Sahara. Here camels exist on tiny, tufted marsh sedges in the sand; sand boas hunt lizards, harvester ants keep subterranean granaries and, at sunset, the desert is filled with the ghostly cry of the eagle owl.
  4. The Celestial Mountains - The icy peaks of the Tien Shan - the Celestial Mountains - run for hundreds of miles along the border between the Central Asian Republics and the People's Republic of China. This is the realm of the elusive snow leopard and the rare white-clawed bear. It is the haunt of ibex and Marco Polo sheep. In spring, the melting snows water a flush of flowers as the red marmots emerge from their winter burrows. Kirghiz herdsmen have settled here, tending horses, sheep and hardy yaks. In the higher-still Pamir mountains a dry, frozen plateau is broken only by extraordinary soda lakes, nesting place of the high-flying bar-headed geese who migrate across the Himalayas from India. The Pamir's highest peak, known in Soviet times as Peak Communism, is the tallest citadel in the Realms of the Russian Bear.
  5. Siberia: The Frozen Forest - Siberia, stretching across the northern reaches of Russia, is a land of extremes and superlatives. It has the greatest forest on Earth, an immense expanse of spruce, pine and fir spanning 6,000 miles. From the wolves and the elks to the musk deer, all its inhabitants have one thing in common: an ability to survive temperatures which can plummet to an incredible 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Lake Baikal, in the southeast, is the oldest and deepest on Earth and is home to a host of unusual creatures. Descending to depths of more than 2,500 feet, cameras catch glimpses of the lake's hidden denizens - forests of sponges, transparent fish and bizarre crustaceans found nowhere else. Baikal, too, falls under the reign of the bears, who emerge in vast numbers from the forest to hunt along its edge.
  6. Born of Fire - Kamchatka Peninsula, where two vastly different worlds - the Arctic and Southeast Asia meet. Kamchatka is remote and volatile, with some of the highest, most active volcanoes on Earth. In the seas off Vladivostok, cool Arctic waters mix with warmer currents from the south to nourish a rich marine community of mussels, giant oysters, huge sea stars and the massive Pacific octopus. Kamchatka's southernmost regions are home to a unique combination of animals, including the Siberian tiger and plants from the Taiga and the tropics.

The Red and the White, 1968 (Fiction - Not Rated) 92 min - VHS
Set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918, the story details the murderous entanglements between Russia's Red soldiers and the counter-revolutionary Whites in the hills along the Volga. The epic conflict moves with skillful speed from a deserted monastery to a riverbank hospital to a final, unforgettable hillside massacre. The film exhibits Jancso's signature wide-screen technique of very long takes and a ceaselessly tracking camera movement. (black & white) Directed by Milkos Jansco. Hungarian with English subtitles.

Red Empire, 1990 7 hours - VHS (7 videotapes, 54 min each)
A well-researched documentary of the history of the Soviet Empire. A British Television production presented by Dr. Robert Conquest and narrated by Sian Phillips. Chief Historical Advisors: Professor Geoffrey Hosking & Barrington Pheloung. Directed by Gwyneth Hughes.

  1. Revolutionaries - Nicholas and Alexandra rule a massive empire, one sixth the world's land mass, 150 million people of 100 different nationalities. Life is hard and the workers are discontented. Moisei Muravnik, now 99 years old, recalls the Siberian goldfields strike of 1912 that ignites the worker's movement. As the people protest, Tsar Nicholas takes command of the army while his wife consorts with the holy man, Rasputin. The stage is set for change as the words of Lenin ring out across the countryside. The revolution has begun!
  2. Winners and Losers - War with Germany leads to civil war in Russia. Among the first casualties are the Tsar and his family. Lenin is nearly assassinated while the two central groups, the Reds and the Whites, fight for control of the empire. Those who suffer most are the people, victims of battle and famine. The Communist Party, under Lenin and Trotsky, gains control. When Lenin dies in 1924, the future of the Party is in doubt, except for a revolutionary on the rise - Joseph Stalin.
  3. Class Warriors - Communism continues to draw the attention and praise of people throughout the world. One reason is the rhetoric of Stalin, who calls for a world order based on the rights and contributions of all workers. A black American, escaping racism in Detroit and emigrating to an idealistic Russia, recollects the enthusiasm of Soviet factory workers. But, in fact, Stalin is a brutal and ruthless dictator, and when the peasants do not accept his plan for collective farms, he viciously starves them by the millions.
  4. Enemies of the People - Why does a child denounce his parents, demanding their execution? When Stalin's 5-year plans fail to turn the Soviet Union into a super power, he blames the secret traitors and urges the people to find them. Today they still comb the forests for hidden graves where millions of innocent people were executed. Millions more were taken to gulags, prison camps full of worker slaves. Ultimately, Stalin does create the great Red Empire, but the cost in terms of human lives is almost incomprehensible.
  5. Patriots - "When the Germans crossed our border, there was an atmosphere of joy," recalls a man from the Baltics. Confusion reigns in the Soviet Union over whom the people should support in WWII. But Hitler forces their decision when he invades in 1941. The Soviets are no match for the Nazis, who destroy everything on their way to Moscow. But in the end, the harsh Russian winter defeats the Germans, who are soon pushed back, leaving the infamous Stalin a hero and the unlikely ally of America and Britain.
  6. Survivors - Victory in WWII is replaced with the Cold War as the Communists reject all Western influences as decadence. Truth is redefined as the radio and airplane are said to be invented by Russians, not Westerners. But the Soviets do make great advances, including the first space flight. When Stalin dies, the future of the Red Empire is again uncertain until Khrushchev takes control. He frees many of Stalin's slaves and reforms the system. But does he have the support and power to revive the socialist idea?
  7. Prisoners of the Past - "They want your souls. They want you to believe in them," says a 1960's dissident of the Communist leadership. Lenin's ideal of individual rights has still not materialized and the people are restless. Freedom lives in their hearts even as Khrushchev's successor, Brezhnev, crushes rebellion and invades Czechoslovakia. The old guard fails; Brezhnev, Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko all die within a 3 year period. That sets the stage for Gorbachev, a youthful vigorous leader who promises hope and change.

Road to the Wall, 1994 34 min - VHS
(Department of the Army, Washington, DC) This program documents the rise of Communism from St. Petersburg, Russia, in the early days of Lenin & Trotsky to Berlin and Cuba under the influence of Khrushchev.

Rural Russia, 1998 50 min - VHS
The residents of small villages in northeast Russia depend upon the closeness of family and friends, hard work, and pride. This documentary portrait captures a world where the land still looms larger than technology.

Russia: Hidden Memory, 1995 56 min - VHS
In this video, Russian folklorists and an American scholar travel to small, remote Russian villages seeking out individuals and groups who have maintained local folklore traditions. The video also considers the intersection of religion and folklore and examines community empowerment through the secret continuation of rituals - both Orthodox and traditional peasant - during the Soviet period. The main figure in the film is a Russian scholar, Galina Sysoeva, who was not only trained as a folk singer, but also collects folk costume and records folk music, particularly wedding music. Her passion and persistence are remarkable and make a wonderful story, particularly alongside the generational divisions in the villages which are so clear in the importance of the elderly in the process of preservation. Folk traditions touched upon include music, dance, clothes, architectural decoration, and hospitality. This is an excellent video and would be particularly useful as an entry point to discussions on Russian traditions, rural life, and/or Soviet cultural policy. -- S. Smith, Ph.D., History Directed by Sam Prigg.

Russia: Land of the Tsars, 2003 200 min - VHS (4 videotapes, 50 min each)
Its forests stretch from Europe to the Pacific. Its winters have vanquished the mightiest armies ever mustered. Its people have borne the excesses of some of history's most notorious rulers. This series illuminates the imperial past of the world's largest nation. At the heart of this epic tale are the figures whose names have become legend: Ivan the Terrible, who expanded the empire at the rate of 50 miles -and innumerable lives - a day; Peter the Great, whose sweeping reforms westernized the nation; and Catherine the Great, whose rule was marked by conquest, change and controversy.

  1. Volume 1) Russia: Land of the Tsars opens with the migrations of the Russe Vikings and the ascendance of Kiev, Russia's heart until the 12th century. By the time Ivan the terrible came to power in 1547, Moscow was the ruling city of his burgeoning empire. Though cruel and capricious, Ivan forged profitable trading alliances in Europe and introduced policies that let the nation he forged survive his death and the battle for succession that followed.
  2. Volume 2) The Romanovs had ruled for a century when 17-year old Peter Alexeevich seized power from his sister and became Tsar. He immediately set out to westernize Russia, transforming the military, founding a new capital, and building the nation's first hospital and museum, among countless other innovations. But Peter the Great failed in at least one respect - he left no clear-cut heir (partly because he had his oldest son killed) - and his death led to more than a decade of chaos and infighting among rival factions of Romanovs.
  3. Volume 3) After her German-born husband Tsar Peter III, tried to give Russian to the Prussian king, the army revolted and put Sophia of Anhalt-Zerbst on the throne. She was a natural, forging kaleidoscopic alliances, embracing Peter's reformist legacy, expanding the empire, and becoming the most powerful woman in the world, known to all as Catherine the Great. Her descendants, however, did not inherit her abilities, a deficit that almost toppled the Romanov dynasty when Alexander had to face Napoleon's massive army - the largest in European history - in 1812.
  4. Volume 4) The December Revolution marked the beginning of a century of struggle that eventually led to the fall of the Romanovs and the rise of Communism. Russia: Land of the Tsars concludes with a look at the turmoil that gripped the nation in the 17th and 18th centuries, from the assassination of the reformist Tsar Alexander II - just 48 hours before he was to sign a proclamation instituting parliamentary government - to the coming of industrialization, WWI, and the end of the empire.

Russia that We Lost, 1991 60 min - VHS
This film is about Russia during the last years before the 1917 revolution, its public and economic life, the Bolshevik rule that turned out fatal for the people. An idyllic portrayal of Tsarist Russia. Produced by WMNB (Russian Television) for Russian-American Educational Services. Directed by S. Govorukhin. Russian.

Russia Today: Ten Years after the Fall of the Soviet Union, 2000 2 hours, 12 min - VHS (2 videotapes, roughly 60 min each)
A decade after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, what are the true costs of sexual freedom and a free press in contemporary Russia? What is the new threat posed by Russia's powerful nuclear arsenal? Will business corruption ever be stamped out? And have politics really changed all that much? This incisive two-part series-hosted by ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel and featuring interviews with Vladimir Putin and Boris Berezovsky-travels to Russia to search for the answers. 2-part series.

  1. Russian Revolutions: Sex, Lies, and Nuclear Weapons (61 min) In segment one of this program, ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel reports on issues related to the new openness in Russia surrounding sexuality, including the growth of prostitution, resistance to contraception and the spread of AIDS. In segment two, Koppel and correspondent John Donvan examine the ongoing controversy revolving around the political sellout of the independent Russian media. And in segment three, Koppel and Donvan analyze the impoverished and demoralized state of Russia's soldiery, tasked with fighting the Chechens and presiding over one of the largest nuclear arsenals in the world.
  2. Russian Revolutions: The Heavy Hand of Corruption (71 min) In segment one of this program, ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel and correspondent John Donvan investigate the endemic nature of corruption in Russia, where bribery is commonplace and paying protection money is considered a regular business expense. In segment two, Koppel and billionaire Boris Berezovsky, identified as the unseen force behind Vladimir Putin's rise to power, discuss Berezovsky's recent foray into politics. And in segment three, after providing detailed background on Putin, Koppel interviews the man himself, touching upon his plans to fight corruption, his KGB affiliations and his surprising sense of humor.

Russian Avant-Garde: A Romance with Revolution, 1999 55 min - VHS
This program documents the achievements of the Russian avant-garde movement and the impact of the Russian Revolution, which at first nurtured modern art as an emblem of communist culture and then banned it in favor of socialist realism. Set within the context of the life of the pivotal art critic Nikolai Punin, the key events of the Lenin/Stalin years and the contributions of major artists such as Malevich, Tatlin, and Filonov are described. Plentiful examples of paintings and sculptures plus period newsreel footage add a strong visual appeal to the story of a compelling period of both art and world history.

(A) Russian Journey, 1987 60 min – VHS
By Clay Francisco. Part of the Traveloguer Collection, this series was featured on PBS and The Learning Channel. Each video provides information about landmarks and culture, includes a map of the country, and shows how the country's geography affects its people.

Saint Petersburg, 1994 30 min - VHS
(Super Cities Series) A documentary on the city and its people. Explore elegant St. Petersburg, built in the early 18th century as Russia's proud new capital. Conceived by Tsar Peter the Great as a grandiose version of his favorite European city, Amsterdam, the architecture of St. Petersburg reflects a range of European influences. Its beautiful palaces and quiet elegance belie its troubled history - yet as you explore the city you'll find clues to the political turmoil that give St. Petersburg its haunting character.

Savior, 1998 (Fiction - Rated R) 104 min - DVD
After losing his beautiful wife (Nastassja Kinski) and young son in a terrorist bombing, Joshua Rose (Dennis Quaid) avenges their death in a murderous rampage. To escape his crime, he joins the Foreign Legion and assumes the name of Guy. But as a mercenary for the Serbs, Guy is still possessed by his mission of vengeance until he meets Vera (Natasa Ninkovic), a young Serb girl who is pregnant with her Muslim rapist's child. Together they embark on an unforgettable journey of survival through a war-shredded world. He is her only hope for survival. She is his only chance for redemption.

(The) Silk Road, 1990 12 hours -VHS (12 videotapes, 55 min each)
Produced by NHK with music by Kitaro. A panoramic tour examining the world's most historic and inaccessible locations, Silk Road escorts the viewer on the ancient path traveled by Marco Polo, linking the riches of China with the European markets of the Middle Ages. The first major co-production between China and the outside world, Silk Road was photographed over the course of ten years. Enjoy the excitement of traveling through time and space, to a long-gone world whose art, culture and history live on in artifacts and the daily lives of its people.

  1. Glories of Ancient Chang-An - Visit modern day Xi-an, formerly Chang-an, the starting point of the Silk Road and the world's largest city when it was the capital of Tan Dynasty China in the 7th century. See the incredible Clay Army of Emperor Qin Huang Di, who united China and built the Great Wall. Buried for almost 2,000 years, the unearthing of the Cly Army was an archeological triumph - and the Silk Road crew were the first foreigners allowed to photograph it. See the sculptures of Emperor Gaozong's tomb - the world's larges - 50 miles west of Xi-an. Enter China's most hallowed Buddhist temple, climb the Great Wall, and examine the hidden underground murals of Princess Yong-tai.
  2. A Thousand Kilometers Beyond the Yellow River - Leave Xi-an and cross the Yellow River on a goat-skin raft. Gaze at the giant Buddha at Bing-li-si, and enter the secret caves, never before filmed. Traverse the forbidding He-xi Corridor, a long and narrow defile between the Qi-lian Mountains and the Gobi Desert. This former battleground of the Huns was bitterly conquered by the Chinese for its real treasure - the Heavenly Western Horses which gave the Huns their fearsome military power. Stroll the streets of the citadel town of Zhang-ye and visit the Nie-pan Buddha, already two hundred years old when Marco Polo lived here in the fourteenth century.
  3. The Art Gallery in the Desert - Tour the Ma-gao Caves at Dun-Huang (over 500 caves, 30 miles in length, with 3,000 murals and statues) in the middle of the Gobi Desert. Dating from 365 AD and encompassing the art styles of Greece, India and the many dynasties of China, these caves hand-tunneled into the Mingsha Mountains are a tour-de-force of religious art.
  4. The Dark Castle - Encounter the ghost castle of Khara-khoto, 250 miles from the oasis of Jiu-chang, near the Qilan Mountains in the Gobi Desert. This lost city was obliterated by Genghis Khan, who exterminated the Tangut people who built it. Buried by the Gobi sands, it was unearthed by the Russian explorer Koslov, who took its artworks to the Hermitage. The castle has stood un-entered for fifty years, since the locals refuse to enter the cursed grounds. Embark on a Mongol camel journey from Narnborg, traverse the desert, and enter the castle gates.
  5. Journey into Music - South through the Tian Shan Mountains, see the "Pearl of the Desert" at the edge of the Taklamakan, and pass through Tien-men-quan, the most formidable mountain pass in the world. Shop with Uighurs at their traditional outdoor marketplace, enjoy a wedding ceremony and learn about their traditions and customs. See Subashi Castle, the largest Buddhist ruins in all the western Lands, and Kuntura Thousand Buddha caves nearby. Explore beyond the Salt River Canyon and venture into the famous Kysil Caves, dating from the third century. A treasure chest of Buddhist art, these wondrous caves are the home of great paintings, murals and ancient musical instruments.
  6. A Heat Wave Called Turfan - Visit "the land of fire." Located between the Tian-Shan mountains and the Taklamakan Desert, the Turfan Basin summer temperatures average well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Climb the nearby Fire Mountains (shimmering in 150-degree heat) half-way up to gaze upon the Thousand Buddha Caves, dating from over a thousand years ago. Tour the Jiao-he Castle, a natural fortress carved out of the living rock on top of a huge cliff, and then travel through the incredible "karez" underground aqueduct system that supplies three hundred wells with cool water flowing 100 feet underneath the earth.
  7. Through the Tian Shan Mountains by Rail - A 300-mile journey will begin in the oasis city of Turfan and carry you to Korla. The entire caravan (including the camels) will board a train for the trip through the Gobi Desert and beyond the ominous Tian Shan Mountain range. See treasures that were uncovered from ancient grave mounds during the building of the railway, including a priceless gold lion. Past the Hardahat viaduct, climb the steep Chinese countryside and be within reach of the snow-capped mountain peaks. Meet the man who would have been the 48th king of the great Mongolian nomad tribe, the Torft. Then mount a camel to cross a steep, 12,000-foot high mountain pass.
  8. Where Horses Fly Like the Wind - Cross the imposing Tian Shan Mountains and meet the Kazakhs. These Kazakhs, commonly referred to as Cossacks, are descendants of the Mongols, and are nomadic wanderers who sill uphold most of the traditions and daily routines of their ancient Hun forefathers. Visit the Western Land, home to the legendary Heavenly Horses ridden by Genghis Khan during his military conquests. Watch an actual match of the former death-sport of Diao-yang, fought on horseback. Then enter no-man's land between the Chinese and Soviet border, a high security buffer zone that is used as a military check point.
  9. In Search of the Kingdom of Lou-lan - Learn of the lost kingdom of Lou-lan, which vanished into the sands of the desert when the nearby lake Lop Nor moved away. Join the first journey in half a century to seek Lou-lan from Yan-guan on the eastern tip of the Taklamakan Desert. 1,200 miles west of Xi-an, in a secure military zone normally forbidden to visitors, find relics of the Silk Road trade over a millennium ago, and be the first to unearth a mummy from a grave hidden for more than 2,000 years.
  10. Across the Taklamakan Desert - Visit the ancient Buddhist city of Miran, southwest of the kingdom of Lou-lan. Meet the Uighurs of the oasis town of Cherchen, near the Kun-Iun Mountains, and then attempt to cross the Taklamakan Desert, which means "The place from which nothing living returns." In the 120 degree heat, stumble into the ruins of Niya, and then attempt a night escape across the desert.
  11. Khotan - Oasis of Silk and Jade - Climb the Kun-Iun mountains, 20,000 feet high, where jade has been mined for over two thousand years. Examine the jade burial suit of a great king. Prospect for precious jewels on the riverbeds below the mountains. Join the search for the rediscovery of Dandan Oilik, the great Buddhist temple city first uncovered in the beginning of the 20th century by the British explorer Stein. Hear the legend of the Chinese princess who smuggled silkworms out of China, hiding them in her hat, as a gift to her new bridegroom. Watch the Silk Dance of the Xin-Yu Song and Dance Troupe, and see master rug weavers ply their ancient trade. Wander a Sunday in Khotan, and sample the food treats of the Uighur culture.
  12. Two Roads to the Pamirs - Enter the oasis town of Kashgar in time to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, in the largest mosque of the Western Lands. Watch master craftsmen apply their ancient skills to woodworking textiles, and jewelry as they did when Marco Polo passed through 700 years ago. See the Buddhist caves at San-xian-dong - built around 300 B.C., the oldest Buddhist ruins in China. Stand on "The Roof of the World," the Pamir plateau between three great mountain ranges. Join a Tajik wedding party as two young lovers conduct their traditional ceremony, and share vows of marriage. Enter Taskgurkan Castle - so old, it was cited by the Greek geographer, Ptolemy.

Silk Road II: An Ancient World of Adventure, 1998 15 hours -VHS (6 videotapes, 150 min each)
Embark on a journey along the Silk Road - the ancient trade route which made possible the flow of rare goods, art and religious beliefs between ancient Rome and the mysterious East. Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo while discovering unique cultures and witness the breathtaking scenery of the world's most inaccessible regions. Soundtrack by Kitaro.

  1. Volume 1: Across the Pamir
    Episode 1) Across the Pamir - Take part in a traditional wedding procession in the mountain village of Hunza amidst the apricot blossoms of Spring.
    Episode 2) The King's Road - Traveled by pilgrims, merchants and armies, the Silk Road was also known as the "Battle Road." Cross through the Khyber Pass and follow the route taken by Timur, Genghis Khan, and Alexander the Great.
    Episode 3) Legendary Ladack - Visit the traditional Buddhist city of Ladack nestled in the Pamir Mountains. Tibetan for "Beyond the Ridge," Ladack is situated atop one of the highest and most forbidding terrains in the world.
  2. Volume 2: In Search of Wisdom
    Episode 4) Xuang Zang's Travels in India - Journey to India, the cradle of Buddhism, and retrace the steps of Xuang Zang, a Chinese Buddhist monk from the 7th century, who embarked on a quest for enlightenment.
    Episode 5) The Scorching Sun and the Southern Road of Iran - Ride on a reed boat across Lake Helm on the way to Persepolis, the capitol of the ancient Persian Empire.
    Episode 6) In Search of Wisdom - Enter the impregnable mountain fortress of Alamut, which withstood an unrelenting siege by the Mongolians for three years, before the fortress was finally sacked and destroyed.
  3. Volume 3: Beyond Baghdad
    Episode 7) Beyond Baghdad - Wander through a bazaar in Baghdad, home of the Arabian Nights, one of the greatest cities along the ancient Silk Road. Baghdad is now a city of over three million.
    Episode 8) The Road Vanished into a Lake - Enter the burial chambers of the Skythai Sakis and discover fabulous treasures - overlooked by tomb robbers and lost since the 5th century B.C.
    Episode 9) Across the Steppes - Visit the site of a decisive battle between Arabian Saracen troops and the armies of the Chinese T'ang Dynasty in 751 A.D. - a battle which ended Chinese influence in the region and opened the way for Islam.
  4. Volume 4: The Soghdian Merchants
    Episode 10) The Sky Horses of Davar - Welcome to the home of the mythical Sky Horses, said to be capable of galloping over 250 kilometers per day, over fields and mountains, for months at a time.
    Episode 11) The soghdian Merchants - Search for the descendants of the forgotten civilization of the Soghds, whose merchant caravans monopolized east-west trade over the Silk Road.
    Episode 12) The Glory of Sammerkand - Open the sarcophagus of Timur, Great King of the Steppes. Then stroll through the largest bazaar in Middle Asia (over 20,000 shoppers per day).
  5. Volume 5: Across the Karakum Desert
    Episode 13) Across the Karakum Desert - Travel across the Black Desert to the ruins of Merv.
    Episode 14) The Other Silk Road - To avoid the heavy taxes levied by the Sassanian Dynasty of Persia, silk merchants established a new route - through the Caucasus Mountains. Visit the eerie Town of the Dead.
    Episode 15) The Caravans Move West - Trek 200 kilometers across the Syrian desert in a camel caravan to the ancient Valley of the Dead to discover mummies wrapped in Chinese silk.
  6. Volume 6: All Roads Lead to Rome
    Episode 16) The Horsemen of Turkey - Explore the ruins of the Anatolia Plateau, where 15,000 Seljuk Turks defeated 300,000 heavily armored Roman soldiers.
    Episode 17) The Silk City at the Edge of Asia - For centuries, the process of making silk was one of the greatest secrets of China. How did such a closely guarded secret slip out of China and into the western world?
    Episode 18) All Roads Lead to Rome - The Silk Road passes through Istanbul - the ancient capitol of the Ottoman Empire, the end of the 13,000 kilometer journey.

Silk Road Lecture Series, 2002 6 to 9 hours -VHS (6 videotapes, ranging from 60 to 90 min each)
Produced by the Seattle Art Museum. Distinguished speakers will discuss some of the major aspects of the history and culture of the Silk Road. The lectures are intended for general audiences, although each speaker brings particular expertise to the material.

  1. Art and Religion on the Silk Road - Lecture by Prof. Daniel Waugh (University of Washington - History Dept.) A specialist on early Russia, Prof. Waugh teaches a variety of courses on the history and culture of Eurasia, including a course specifically on the Silk Road. He has traveled extensively along the Silk Road and will illustrate his talk in part with stunning photographs taken during those travels. He is the principal coordinator for Silk Road Seattle.
  2. Soghdia and Its Culture - Lecture by Dr. Boris Marshak, the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Dr. Marshak is Head of the Central Asian and Caucasus section of the Oriental Division of the Hermitage, which contains some of the most important collections of Silk Road art and artifacts. He has lectured frequently in the United States; during spring semester 2002 he will be a visiting professor at Yale University. He is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on the culture of Sasanian Iran and on the Soghdians, whose cities occupied a key position in the center of the Silk Road during the middle of the first millennium of the Common Era. Dr. Marshak will draw upon his extensive experience supervising archaeological excavations in Central Asia.
  3. Dunhuang's Role in the Transmission of Buddhism and Buddhist Art to China - Lecture by Prof. Roderick Whitfield, Percival David Professor of Chinese and East Asian Art, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The lecture will trace the aerial and earthbound roots of Buddhism and Buddhist images, as they were transmitted from India to China. The epithet of feilai (come flying) or chengyun (cloud-borne) recurs frequently on Tang (618-906) and Five Dynasties (907-960) mural representations of Buddhist images in the Mogao or "Peerless" cave-temples of Dunhuang, the most important oasis on the Silk Road in the border regions of north-west China. Other, still earlier images, lacking such epithets, have their own stories to tell of their Indian origins, and of their journeys across the heart of Asia.
  4. Cultural Exchange Under the Mongols - Lecture by Prof. Thomas Allsen, Department of History, State College of New Jersey. In the thirteenth century the Mongols created a vast, transcontinental empire that intensified commercial and cultural contact throughout Eurasia. From the outset of their expansion the Mongols identified and mobilized artisans, technicians and scholars and moved them from one cultural zone of the empire to another. The result was an extensive traffic in specialist personnel and human talent between East and West.
  5. Courtly Art and Cultural Transmission in Western Asia in the 13th - 15th Centuries - Lecture by Dr. Linda Komaroff, Head, Department of Ancient and Islamic Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This lecture will consider some of the remarkable cultural achievements in western Asia that followed on the heels of the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, and the Turco-Mongol conquests of the late 14th century. In each instance, periods of unfathomable destruction were succeeded by periods of brilliant creativity in the visual arts, under the Ilkhanid (1256-1353) and Timurid (1370-1507) dynasties, respectively. This creativity was fostered in part through contact with East Asian art and artistic ideas that helped to infuse and invigorate Iranian art with new forms, meanings, and motifs, and a sophisticated awareness of art as a means of political expression, which were further disseminated throughout the Islamic world.
  6. New Journeys Down Old Roads: 20th Century Impressions of the Silk Road - Lecture by Dr Karil Kucera, University of Washington. The lands that comprise the once famous "Silk Road" have lived on in history's collective imagination as alternately exotic and erotic, or violent and dangerous. In the last century, images created of the areas stretching to the west from China and to the east from Constantinople have served varying agendas stretching from glorification to subjugation, and its accompanying outcries of indignation. This lecture will look at largely the eastern and Central Asian portions of the Silk Road. The focus will be on the various ways in which both artist and historian have portrayed both the sites along this old trade route, as well as the route itself. Drawing on text and image from an assortment of media, the presentation will attempt to recreate visions of what the Silk Road has meant over the past century to both those who traveled it, and to those who only dreamed of traveling it. The goal here is to arrive at an understanding of what the "Silk Road" has come to mean as a time and place at the end of the 20th-century, and how it might be viewed within the new, faster world of the 21st-century.

Soviets: The True Story of Perestroika, 1990 5 hours - VHS (5 videotapes, 53 min each)
This 5 part series represents an unparalleled documentary record of the rapid and profound transformations within the USSR that have reverberated throughout Eastern Europe and since led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself. The programs include accounts from survivors of Chernobyl and moving sequences of the survivors of the Armenian earthquake, and look at changing attitudes toward religion, disillusioned Afghan war veterans, and various nonconformist groups. "Only rarely do films attain a place in the history of the conflicts which they depict, and this achievement makes Soviets as close to a masterpiece as any documentary I have seen recently." London Observer.

  1. Awakening - This program chronicles the Soviet Union's faltering steps toward political pluralism. There are startling, shocking images in this program: Andrei Sakharov, speaking at a meeting of the Supreme Soviet, cut off in mid-phrase while talking about the effects of Stalinism on the Soviet conception of truth; an Armenian video samizdat showing the killings in Sumgait in 1988, an indifferent soldiery watching Moslem vigilantes carrying out a pogrom. The program also looks at the re-emergence of Christianity in the Soviet Union, and talks to an orthodox priest who blames the unrest in the nation to the destruction of the church; it also examines the fate of the Baltic states.
  2. Do You Hear Us? (renamed Them and Us) - Young Afghan war veterans talk about life on the front line during the war in which 60,000 Soviet troops (the official number) died and many more were maimed. Now they demonstrate because they feel their sacrifices were not justified and not appreciated by Soviet society. The program also talks to other nonconformist groups-Latvian hippies, the literary admirers of the controversial novelist Bulgakov, and the sinister Pamyat (Memory) movement, whose leader mutters darkly against the Western press, the Masonic movement, against America.
  3. Red Hot - This program includes richly emotional scenes of the survivors of the Armenian earthquake; interviews with angry workers in a Yaroslavl engine factory where one of the first strikes in decades took place; a visit to Chernobyl, where people are illegally returning to their homes in the still-radioactive zone around the nuclear reactor; and footage of the bloody unrest among the Mhesks in Uzbekistan.
  4. The Wall - The infamous Soviet bureaucracy continues to flourish. In Uzbekistan, a young Moslem bride attempts to fight corrupt officials to gain legal redress against her husband's accusation that she was not a virgin at marriage. Outside Leningrad, local people risk losing their jobs when they protest against the pollution caused by an artificial egg white factory. Boris Yeltsin also appears in this program, talking in a tone of amiable despair of a "hungry bureaucracy...like a huge wheel. The rust had to be removed. Somebody had to give the first push," he says.
  5. Face to Face - This program revisits the Baltic States to meet the leaders of the Latvian People's Front who are fighting to preserve their national identity. The program features an interview with the revolutionary leader of the Green Movement, filmed shortly before he felt compelled to leave the country for his own safety. The program concludes with footage of demonstrations, strikes, and riots, as the people take politics into their own hands.

Stalin, 1990 3 hours - VHS (3 videotapes, 58 min each)
Stalin, a compelling 3-part series, casts new light on the complex man who stood at the helm of his country for over a quarter of a century, and transformed it into a major world power. Featuring rare, archival footage and exclusive interviews with relatives of Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, and Bukharin, these programs trace Stalin's rise to power, and explore the impact he had on his country, his people, and the world.

  1. Revolutionary - This program chronicles the rise of Stalin from his early years as a young man training for the priesthood, through his transformation into a revolutionary sought by the czarist police, and finally his emergence as a leader in the Communist Party. Viewers gain valuable insight into the factors that led to the formation of Stalin's personal goals, and how they influenced his plans for his country.
  2. Despot - This program examines Stalin's manipulation of the system he established to throw his country headlong into change. The policies of forced collectivization and rapid industrialization Stalin introduced in 1929 began a reign of terror that changed the political course of history forever.
  3. Generalissimo - This program focuses on Stalin as military leader and planner, and outlines his domestic and foreign policies during the last 20 years of his life. Interviews with Soviet lawyer Ivan Shekhovtsov and Soviet writer Lev Kopelev bear witness to the fact that the value of Stalin's legacy continues to be debated even today.

Stalin: Red Terror, 1996 50 min - VHS
He held absolute power over the Soviet Union for 29 years. His legacy arguably surpasses even Hitler's, he sent over 20 million of his own countrymen to their deaths. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the extent of his atrocities have been revealed to a stunned world, and he has taken his place as one of the most reviled leaders of the century. This comprehensive portrait revisits the life of Uncle Joe through astonishing Soviet archival film and an astonishing collection of interviews. Biographers Robert Conquest and Edvard Radzinsky explore his disastrous reforms, including the collectivization of agriculture and his massive purges. Former interpreter Valentin Berezhkov offers a first-person view of the dictator, while purge victim Dr. Janusz Bardach talks about his time in the Gulags. And in a rare interview Mikhail Gorbachev explores the rise, rule and legacy of the most infamous of all his predecessors.

Stalin and Hitler: Dangerous Liaisons, 1996 102 min - DVD (2 DVDs, 51 min each)
The dissimilarities between Communism and National Socialism are today recognized as largely rhetorical. The differences are predominantly national, and both states strived to achieve the same goal: European domination. This three-part series examines the compelling evidence that Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany were closer allies than either could or would acknowledge. Using startling archival information temporarily declassified after the Soviet Union's collapse, these programs present details of the true motives behind the Stalin/Hitler alliance. (The Ellison Center owns 2 parts of this 3 part series.) Stalin and Hitler: Appeasement Leads to War. In this program, eyewitnesses such as a Soviet ambassador, a Soviet journalist, and a Comintern agent reveal how Stalin's fear of a massive German invasion during his preparations for war caused him to push for an alliance with Hitler at any price-including assisting the Nazi war machine. The Borders and Friendship Treaty-long-denied by the Soviets-and previously undisclosed clauses in the Germano-Soviet Pact; Gestapo and NKVD orders to eliminate the Polish intelligentsia; and compromising photographs of Russian/German military cooperation, combined with powerful archival footage, cast a new light on the alliance between the Soviets and the Nazis. Stalin and Hitler: The Confrontation. In this program, the revelations of military historians, army officers, journalists, and government officials combine with Soviet documents and voluminous archival footage to provide stunning insights concerning Stalin's foreknowledge of Operation Barbarossa, his political triumph at the Potsdam Conference, and the tacit moral justification of his wartime atrocities at the Nuremberg Trials. Using first Hitler's ambitions and then the cooperation of the Allies to further his plan of Communist domination, Stalin emerged from World War II ostensibly as a champion of democracy-and the victor in the contest between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Stalingrad, 1993 (Fiction - Rated R) 150 min - DVD
With German forces following Hitler's orders to neither retreat nor surrender, over 2 million Russians and Germans lost their lives in the legendary battle of Stalingrad (what came to be know as the turning point in the defeat of Germany in WWII.) Pulling no punches in revealing the gritty reality of combat, the viewer is put in the trenches with the young soldiers as they face the harsh elements and brutal fighting conditions. Considered in the company of such anti-war classics as Paths of Glory, Platoon, and Apocalypse Now. Directed by Joseph Vilsmaier. English & German with English subtitles.

Stars' Caravan, 2000 60 min - VHS
The former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan is a land of natural beauty and continuous cultural upheaval; however, one tradition of the old regime has survived. Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, the government dispatched cinema units to expose citizens to propaganda films. Appointed projectionists would travel through the land either by foot or on horseback to hold special screenings. When Kyrgyzstan was granted its independence, its cinema program lost their funding and the people lost their beloved movies. The Stars' Caravan is the story of a lone projectionist, who has continued to deliver the wonder of cinema to his people.

Stolen Years, 1999 60 min - VHS
They were sentenced to hard labor in the frozen wasteland of Siberia. Millions died, worked or starved to death in Stalin's camps. A few survived. And now 50 years later, four survivors of Stalin's camps in Siberia tell their stories. First-hand accounts.

Stories My Country Told Me: The Meaning of Nationhood, 1996 55 min - VHS
"Nationalism is not compatible with the progress of history," says Eric Hobsbawm. In this program, the renowned Marxist historian travels 35 miles on the Pressburg Railway to prove his point - a brief trip from Vienna to Bratislava in 1996 and a century-long journey through a landscape that has seen some of Europe's most turbulent political changes. Using the excursion as a paradigm for the nationalistic struggles of the region, Hobsbawm traces the birth of modern Slovakia from its roots in the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to the region's annexation by Hitler and subsequent domination by the Soviet Union, to Slovakian Independence.

Storm over Asia, 1928 (Fiction - Rated PG) 125 min - DVD
Storm over Asia is a revolutionary melodrama. Mongol residents of the arid steppe can trace lineage back to the ancient warriors who once swept through eastern and central Russia. But by 1918, when this story begins, they are reduced to near poverty, trading modest fur harvests with exploitative western buyers. British troops occupy the region to protect these foreign interests during the upheavals of the civil war, which followed the Russian Revolution. One Mongol lad, the naive son of a nomadic hunter, happens to possess an ancient talisman lost by a priest. It identifies the bearer as a direct descendant of Genghis Khan, and when the occupiers discover this, they make him a puppet ruler. Gradually, this young man metamorphoses into an anti-Colonial revolutionary, rising up against his exploiters and leads a "storm of revolution." Pudovkin's expressive imagery, visual metaphors, editing and Golovnia's photography make this film "one of the most perfect examples of the formal beauty of a silent film." (black & white) Silent with a music track.

Testimony of the Human Spirit: Six survivors of the Holocaust tell their stories, 2004 117 min - VHS
Interweaving family photographs and archival footage, this moving program illuminates the Holocaust through the eyes of six men and women who lived through it as young people. They tell their stories-and give an overview of the Holocaust-in four chapters extending from 1933 to liberation and beyond. A carefully prepared 36-page teacher's guide with Holocaust background, chapter synopses, maps and timelines, questions, activities, books, and Web sites comes with the film in a three-ring binder (on 4 separate VHS videos, each the length of one classroom period). Grades 8 and up. Color and black-and-white.

There Once Was a Town, 2000 87 min - VHS
In 1941, the German army invaded the small town of Eishyshok, Poland (now Lithuania) and brutally murdered nearly all 3,500 Jewish residents. Fifty-six years after the massacre, this program chronicles the remarkable journey of four of the town's survivors and their families as they return home. Actor Edward Asner, a descendant of an Eishyshok family, narrates. Professor Yaffa Eliach, critically acclaimed author of There Once Was A World: A Nine Hundred Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok, leads the group of survivors in their search for remnants of Jewish life that flourished before the Holocaust.

Turksib, 1929 / Salt for Svanetia, 1930 (Fiction - Not Rated) 110 min - VHS
Exploding the idea of the documentary as a staid, emotionally detached genre, Turksib and Salt for Svanetia applied the striking compositions and charged kineticism of Soviet montage to achieve an expressiveness of unprecedented intensity. Resisting character-driven narrative, Turin formulated a drama centered on the struggle for survival in Asia, from the arid plains of Turkestan to the icy Siberian mountains. Turksib depicts the Herculean accomplishment of joining these distant and disparate regions by rail - a monument to Soviet engineering and a spectacle to behold. Salt for Svanetia is an ethnographic treasure that documents the harsh conditions of life in the isolated mountain village of Ushkul. Salt begins as a starkly rendered homage to the resourcefulness and determination of the Svan. But as the focus shifts to the tribe's barbaric religious customs, Kalatozov's film transforms itself into a work of Communist propaganda, holding up these grotesque ceremonies as an example of religion's corruptive influence. (black & white.) Russian with English subtitles.

Ukraine: Ancient Crossroads, Modern Dreams, 1993 55 min - VHS
(Video Visits) This program uncovers the ancient traditions and mysteries of Ukraine. Stroll through Kiev's famous cathedrals (St. Sophia with it's fabled frescoes and mosaics,) and monasteries (descending to candle-lit underground caves.) See the Shevchenko Monument. Meet musicians, farmers and priests who keep the Ukrainian spirit alive and the artisans who practice the traditional crafts (including "pysanky" painted Easter eggs.) Discover medieval castles, Crimea and the city of Lviv.

Ulysses' Gaze, 1997 (Fiction - PG-13) 173 min - DVD
This film traces the journey of Greek-American Director "Mr. A" (Keitel), across the Balkans in search of several lost reels of film shot by the Manakia brothers, pioneers of cinema in that region of the world. Filled with stunning imagery, the film travels through war-torn Eastern Europe giving a compelling eyewitness account of the scope of the conflict in the Balkan states. Directed by Theo Angelopoulos. (color, black & white). In English and Greek with English subtitles.

Uncle Vanya, 1963 (Theater) 110 min - VHS
Laurence Olivier tops an amazing cast, including some of the true giants of British theater, in this magnificent production of Anton Chekhov's masterwork. Joan Plowright, Rosemary Harris, Michael Redgrave, Sybil Thorndike, Lewis Casson, Max Adrian and Faye Compton also star in what is widely considered the best English language staging of the play ever. Olivier directed this production for the stage at the 1962 Chichester Drama Festival and it was later filmed for television by Stuart Burge. The filmed play also received a brief theatrical run in 1977.

Underground, 1995 (Fiction - Not Rated) 167 min - VHS
A great circus full of tragicomic satire. In the midst of WWII, Makro & Blacky - two opportunistic buddies sharing a spirited lust for women, booze and brawling - attain riches and heroic praise for dealing arms to the war's resistance fighters. When things get too hot, they move into an intricate cellar packed with refugees whom Marko encourages to manufacture the contraband. With Blacky convinced he should remain hidden in the cellar until the war ends, Marko conspires to leave him there as he grows richer from the toils of the people living underground. Over 15 years pass before a web of lies unfolds and Blacky emerges from shelter to seek his revenge. Directed by Emir Kusturica. Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.

Videograms of a Revolution, 1992 107 min - VHS
This film is a new "media-based form of historiography. It condenses 125 hours of video material into a chronology of the 1989 Romanian revolution. Directed by Harun Farocki and Andrej Ujica.

Vilnius: The Symbol of a New Europe, 1998 45 min - VHS
Rarely visited during its years of Soviet occupation, Vilnius now stands as the vibrant social center of independent Lithuania. This film showcases the city's historic churches, ethnic heritage, educational institutions, music, and nightlife. Directed by David Burgess.

Visas & Virture, 1997 (Dramatization) 26 min - VHS
This Academy Award-winning dramatic short film pays tribute to Japanese Consul General Chiune Sugihara who saved 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust and risked his own career by issuing life-saving visas in defiance of his government's direct orders. Visas & Virtue explores the moral and professional dilemmas that Japanese Consul General Chiune Sugihara faced in making a life-or-death decision. A dramatic interpretation of a chapter in Sugihara's life, this Academy Award-winning portrait pays tribute to the rescuer of 6,000 Jews from the Holocaust. Haunted by the sight of hundreds of Jewish refugees outside his consulate in Lithuania at the beginning of World War II, Sugihara had to decide whether to defy his own government's direct order by issuing life-saving transit visas, or obey orders and turn his back on thousands of Jews.

Vukovar, 1994 (Fiction - Rated R, violent graphic images) 94 min - VHS
Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles A story of childhood friends - one Croat, the other Serb - who marry, only to be torn apart by a war which ravages their native Yugoslavia. A grim testament to the inexorable effects of war. Vukovar was filmed in the bombed-out city of Vukovar between August and November 1993, while the war was still raging. Won Best Foreign Film (Academy Awards) along with multiple other awards. Directed by Boro Draskovic.

Welcome to Sarajevo, 1997 (Fiction - Rated R) 102 min - VHS
Based in the true saga of British TV journalist Michael Nicholson, story follows Henderson and his news team to war-torn Sarajevo. The city has just seen its worst fighting as Bosnian Serbs try to derail the country's new independence with artillery bombardment. While there, Henderson encounters Flynn, a US TV journalist more famous than the news he's covering, and Annie, a freelance writer covering her first war. Henderson and company eventually come across an orphanage near the front lines and are so compelled by the scene that they choose to make it front page news. Henderson's involvement is so deep that he makes plans to take one of the children, Emira, back to England, illegally, with the help of an American aid worker. However, he must eventually return to Sarajevo to face the consequences of his actions.

Where Eagles Fly: Portraits of Women of Power - Habiba: A Sufi Saint from Uzbekistan, 1997 30 min - VHS
Habiba is a Tabib, a Muslim healer, who belongs to the earliest Sufi "Chain of Mystic Transmission," a lineage of teachers whose main representative is the great master Bahaudin Nacksband. Uzbekistan is a dreamlike land of turquoise domes and minarets, a crossroad of western and eastern civilization along the Silk Road. A Muslin country: its spiritual tradition derives from the teachings of all the great religions of the earth.

Window to Paris, 1994 (Fiction - Rated PG-13) 92 min - VHS
This comedy starts in St. Petersburg, where a down-on-his-luck music teacher moves into a one-room apartment and finds that the cat of the previous inhabitant, left locked in the room for a very long time, is inexplicably healthy and fat, a mystery that is soon revealed as he discovers that the closet door opens onto a window on the other side of Paris! Soon the denizens of the Russian flat are busy transporting themselves (and all the goods they can find) over the Paris rooftops into their St. Petersburg apartment. Window to Paris is a sharp, witty and totally original satire. Directed by Yuri Mamin. Russian with English subtitles.

Witness to History: Russian Revolution, 1989 15 min - VHS
Presents an eyewitness account of the downfall of Russia's ancient autocracy and the rise of the Communist State. Includes rare scenes from Lenin's life, Russian courtroom trials, Moscow and Leningrad in the 1920s, and famines in Samara. Directed by David Burgess.

Women and War, 2001 53 min - VHS
Interwoven with gripping footage from recent conflicts in the Middle East, Bosnia, northern Uganda, and South Africa, this compelling program captures women's personal experiences of military violence, explains how they survived, and reflects on their growing resistance to war. The women's feelings of loss, uncertainty, and anguish are expressed through stories of cruelty, degradation, and psychological trauma, while their attempts to achieve reconciliation and rebuild shattered communities demonstrate their positive efforts to create a more peaceful future for everyone.

World Religions: Russian Orthodox, 1996 15 min - VHS
This program examines the rituals of the Russian Orthodox Church. Persecuted under communism, it is now flourishing and exerting an impact on Russian life. A young Russian woman talks about how she incorporates the religion into her daily life. At an ornate cathedral in Moscow, we attend the Divine Liturgy, or formal Russian service, and a Baptism, at which the rituals and the significance of the various religious symbols, including icons and iconostases, are explained.

Yalta: Peace, Power and Betrayal, 2002 56 min - VHS
Documenting a story of hope and irony, Yalta recounts the February 1945 meeting of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin at a Black Sea resort in Russia’s Crimea. Agreements made at Yalta—occupation of Germany, prosecution of war criminals, the governance of Poland, Russia’s entry into the war against Japan, and setting up the UN—would dramatically alter postwar history. Includes extensive film of the conference itself, background footage of events before and after, and comments by historians like Robert Dallek and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. Grades 7 and up.

Yeltsin: A Legacy of Change, 2000 87 min - VHS
The UW's own Professor Herb Ellison served as chief consultant and executive producer for this review of Boris Yeltsin's impact on history. This program traces Yeltsin's climb to the top of the Communist Party, his personal power struggle with Gorbachev and his rocky Presidency. Interviews with opposition leaders as well as many of Yeltsin's top advisers, including Shevardnadze, Nemtsov and Yeltsin's wife, Naina, provide a candid appraisal of a man who changed the course of world history.

Young Storytellers for Peace, 1985 11 min - VHS
A fundraising video for sending a group of US students to the Soviet Union for several weeks to encourage greater understanding between the youth of the US and USSR.

Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation, 1997 52 min - VHS 4 p. Teacher's Guide
Violence, murder and disorder in the former Yugoslavia have horrified the world. Study how and why this once-unified country disintegrated into a combat zone of warring factions. Part one reveals how Serbian Communist Party leader Milosevic exploited Muslim resentment to win favor and overthrow old comrades. Part two begins with Milosevic controlling half of Yugoslavia and chronicles the steps leading to Slovene secession. Explore Milosevic's shrewd political maneuvering, and hear directly from him.

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The Ellison Center
REECAS Program
Box 353650
203B Thomson Hall
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(206) 543-4852 phone
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