chapter  6
20 Pages

Stalin (and Lenin) at the Movies

ByJohn Riley

The analysis, interpretation and recreation of history are central to how a country defines itself. This is particularly the case for those that, like the Soviet Union, decisively split from their pasts and struggle to relate their previous lives to their current ones. Thus, all countries mythologize their national identity by suppression and emphasis, creating a version of history that is a combination of the officially approved and the publicly acceptable. Cinema plays an important role in this, and both fiction and non-fiction films have been co-opted into the process.