The Secretary of Ideology

  • Yuriy Pivovarov
  • Russia
  • 2019
  • 50 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
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Comrade Ivan Komendantov, the secretary of ideology for a regional youth association, has a mission: to revive the socialist state. Sipping a soft drink, he shakes his head, hardly believing he’s only 16.

He takes his new star status in the communist sphere very seriously, so he hastens from funerals to dinners, party meetings and group evaluations, closely followed by filmmaker Yuri Pivovarov. Not all his initiatives are appreciated by the senior party members, as this documentary comedy shows, but Ivan is proficient in the use of communist terminology such as “ideological reeducation” and “counterrevolutionary forces.” And he concludes an impromptu meeting of a handful of grinning classmates with a rousing “Workers of all countries, unite!”

To complete the nostalgic longing for the past, Ivan shuffles along with a procession of warmly dressed fellow believers past the grave of Comrade Stalin, the once maligned dictator who was named the most important person in Russian history a few years back. Ivan takes off his fur hat in respect, lays a red carnation on the grave, and bows deeply.


  • 50 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Russian
  • Subtitles in: English
Yuriy Pivovarov
Executive producer
Marina Razbezhkina for The Marina Razbezhkina and Mikhail Ugarov School of Documentary Film and Theatre, Yuriy Pivovarov
Yuriy Pivovarov
Yuriy Pivovarov
Yuri Geddert
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history