Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Marina Babak offers a fresh perspective on the history of the Soviet Union in this documentary. Bol's Sveta! (which translates as "more light") was compiled from newsreel and documentary footage rescued from Soviet archives; most of it had previously been suppressed by government censors, and in the film Babak shows us an alternate history of the U.S.S.R. from the October Revolution into the age of Glasnost, offering a blunt assessment of the virtues and failings of the nation's leadership (especially Joseph Stalin and Leonid Brezhnev) while celebrating the new era of openness in the Soviet Union. Bol's Sveta! (aka Bolshe Sveta!) was first released in 1987, ironically only four years before the reforms celebrated in the film would lead to the collapse of Communism in Russia and Eastern Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.