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The Russian QuestionThe Russian Question
(Soviet Union, 1947, 91 minutes, 35 mm, b/w)

Directed by Mikhail Romm
in Russian with English subtitles



Special One Day Screening:
Date:  Monday, September 22nd
Time:  1 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
Place:  Spectrum Theatre, 290 Delaware Avenue, Albany (www.spectrum8.com)

“The Russian Question” is a fascinating example of how Soviet filmmakers presented American ‘reality’ to Soviet audiences. The film is rarely screened in the United States and thus offers a rare opportunity to see the Cold War from the other side: how did ‘they’ show ‘us’?

The film is based on the play by K. Simonov. It is the story of an American journalist who spends time in Russia and sees socialism in action. Upon his return to the U.S., a prestigious editor asks him to write a book about his experience. He receives a handsome advance for the project and he and his fiancée are able to buy a house, a car, and other symbols of the American dream. But the editor’s generosity comes with a caveat: the book must present a negative picture of Soviet society. Will he simply keep the money and do what is expected of him, or will he instead tell the truth?

“The Russian Question” will be introduced by Nadieszda Kizenko, who teaches Russian history at UAlbany. She will provide context for the making of the film as well as to American films produced during the same era and the roles they played in framing the Cold War at home and abroad.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.