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Friday, February 09, 2007

Stalin Live 

RIA Novosti reflects on “Stalin.LIVE” which ran on Russia's “NTV”:

Stalin live, Stalin the Reality Show, Stalin Direct. On the one hand, there was no way you'd expect a historical serial from the creator of “Za Steklom” and “Rublevka.LIVE”. Nevertheless, Grigorii Liubomirov himself talks in detail about his research, what sources he used, to put together a detailed account of the tyrant's final month. However, he disagrees with the very concept “tyrant”.

They eschewed subjective accounts and relied on memoirs and facts to get at the real man, etc., etc. The first installment did well with viewers, at 19%, but interest fell after that. Critics claim the show makes assumptions about Stalin's inner life that simply have no basis in historical evidence. Towards the end, he is apparently made to seem repentant, but in fact he was signing off on a major anti-Jewish campaign days before he died in the last week of February, 1953.

There is, of course, a new movie about Idi Amin, The Last King of Scotland, which has had mixed reviews, though everyone praises Forest Whitaker. It's probably difficult to churn tyranny into drama, because almost nothing personal about a tyrant can hold one's interest for very long in the light of his official activities.

As for Stalin today? A Russian poll (cited in the article, but the link doesn't work) shows 31% consider him a “cruel, inhuman tyrant, guilty of the destruction of millions of innocent people”, while almost the same number have a positive view.



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Watching TV is a good way to tear yourself away from the computer.