The Bitter Harvest - A movie about the Holodomor

This movie is coming out soon here in the States and I plan on seeing it. It’s very rare to get a movie that’s about Russia, Ukraine, and even the Soviet Union for that manner. This looks promising and different and is not your typical Hollywood Russian flick, where it was usually with a guy with a fake Russian accent and he ends up being the bad guy.

I doubt it will have Russian dubs or subtitles, but the fact there’s just something about this era is good enough for me.

Maybe directors will start exploring this side of the history instead now? Example, the Western front in World War II has been overdone to Hell, and the war veterans are not getting any younger, so best get the stories while the veterans are still alive to tell their stories. It would be great if more historical pieces of work were done in this era, rather than trash films like Fury that had no nutritional value.

On a different note, does anyone know any good Russian made movies about World War II or the Cold War for that matter?

Have you heard of the 12-part Soviet TV series Семнадцать мгновений весны Seventeen Moments of Spring (1973)? You might want to check it out.

It’s available on YouTube:

Stalingrad is a German made movie. They speak mostly in German so it may not be what you want but I’ll toss it in here anyway. It’s brutally honest and I think it’s a great movie, albeit with a tragic ending just like the real battle had.

Looks like I blew the ending but then again you shouldn’t watch a movie about the battle of Stalingrad and expect a Titanic-style love-story with an alltogether sweet and happy ending. But that’s just the view of my (“Russian”?) soul.

Not in Russian, but France Culture has a series about Russia on at the moment.

Свои (2004) Dmitri Meskhiyev

Летят журавли (1957) Mikhail Kalatozov

Иди и смотри (1985) Elem Klimov

There are many others but those are my favorites. The last one is so incredibly violent it’s hard to watch but it’s a war movie so that’s pretty much the point.

You can find them on youtube. You’ll notice that most popular Soviet movies are up there and they’re definitely worth watching.

Every other Soviet-era movie seems to have been about the Great Patriotic War, as well as many afterwards. So no worries, the eastern front has been ‘overdone’ just as well from that side.

“Good” is subjective, of course, but there must be several good ones in that corpus. Have you seen “Иваново детство”? It won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival in 1962. Иваново детство, 1962 - YouTube

Well, it sure looks better than the Russian Stalingrad movie.

You should see War and peace from 1966. That one was great. It has Russian speech.

Not a movie, but a book. A classic book on the Ukrainian famine is “I Chose Freedom” by Viktor Kravchenko, a young communist sent by the Party to supervise the extraction of grain from the peasants.

Kravchenko survived the Great Terror and defected to the USA in 1944. Still remember the shock when I read his book all those years ago. Plenty of copies available on Abebooks.

It must be said that this ‘Holodomor’ was not only ‘the Uktranian famine’, it caused a lot of victims also in the south of Russia and in the Northern Kazahkstan - all together more than 10 mio victims.
The natural disaster was doubled by the violent ‘collectivisation’ managing by the communist rulers of the Soviet Union.

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