Back to the USSR

    • set 11 items

    It's not clear whether today's Russia is a continuation of the USSR past or whether we truly stand at the brink of a new cold war. But it is clear that we need to re-discover Russia's place in contemporary history, the recent past, and also the present, to be better equipped to understand the global political context that touches all of our daily lives.

    Read more about our Program Pathways.

    Items in this selection

    Born in the USSR: 21 Up

    • Sergei Miroshnichenko
    • 2005

    Born in the Soviet Union, these twentysomethings have grown up in Russia or far beyond its borders. How do they see their lives now?


    • Olga Delane
    • 2018

    A powerful, stylized portrait of the 80-year-old Dorotchka, an archetypal babushka who philosophizes about life, love, regret and loneliness.

    Lost Reactor

    • Alexandra Westmeier
    • 2018

    A prestigious but never-completed Soviet nuclear power station in Crimea now stands in ruins, but several outsiders have found their salvation in this desolate place.

    Meeting Gorbachev

    • Werner Herzog, Andre Singer
    • 2018

    Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union, looks back at his political life and legacy with Werner Herzog.

    Once Upon a Time in Shanghai

    • Leyli Gafarova
    • 2018

    When a European film crew arrives in the slum known as Shanghai in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, feelings quickly run high.

    The Patriot

    • Katja Fedulova
    • 2018

    At 21, Vasily Vlasov is the youngest parliamentarian in the Russian Duma, and his deeply conservative ideas have made him the hero of many a fledgling patriot.

    The Potato Eaters

    • Dina Barinova
    • 2018

    A Russian family lives in extreme poverty. This is what Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters would look like if it came to life.

    Putin’s Witnesses

    • Vitaly Mansky
    • 2018

    A close account of the first year of Putin’s presidency, in which Vitaly Mansky also questions his own role: witness or silent accomplice?

    The Trial

    • Sergei Loznitsa
    • 2018

    A show trial in the Soviet Union in 1930 acts as a historical warning against the dangers of "alternative facts," media manipulation and a selective approach to the truth.

    Victory Day

    • Sergei Loznitsa
    • 2018

    Modern-day nationalism haunts this portrait of a commemoration of the Soviet soldiers who died in Berlin.

    Wednesday 19.7.1961

    • Victor Kossakovsky
    • 1997

    A portrait of the dozens of St. Petersburg residents who were born on Wednesday, July 19, 1961: Victor Kossakovsky’s own birthday.