Kolyma: Road of Bones
Germany, Russia, 2017
Last week, a statebacked bronze statue of Joseph Stalin was unveiled in Moscow, hardly a singular act of its kind. Russian history textbooks now tell students that the deeds of the former Soviet leader were rational, while in January 2016, a cultural centre celebrating Stalin opened in the Tver region. The trend of restoring the image of the brutal dictator is disturbing and there is fear that his crimes can be whitewashed by ambiguously changing the narrative, by telling the story of a cruel murderer to one of a strong leader who simply could not please everyone.
On the side of the truth there are the stories of the people who remember. Stanislaw Mucha’s new documentary Kolyma: Road of Bones which will screen at DOK Leipzig at the end of October, brings forward the stories of such witnesses, and is a reminder of the unaccounted pain the Stalinist regime has inflicted. The film takes the viewer on a drive along the Kolyma Highway in Russia’s Far East, exploring the region and what’s left of its past.
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