Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This four hour long Russian epic chronicles the effects of Stalin's regime on a single family. The story begins in 1947, and follows the family for 10 years. As the film opens, young Kostia, the son of a Ukrainian father and a Jewish mother, heads off for his new school. There he is taught to literally worship Stalin as the ultimate symbol of their country. To him, the children are supposed to selflessly devote their lives. So oppressed were the people of that time that parents would say nothing to their children of their past lives or true beliefs. They did this to protect them. Like many Moscow residents, Kostia's family shared their dwelling with two other families. The lack of space created much tension. Heated discussions of politics intervened in every gathering. Later as Kostia grew older, he became involved in many fights among the street kids. He also witnessed the effects the new regime had upon family hierarchies and social structure. Despite the repression outside his home, his family quietly did all they could to keep the boy from believing everything he learned in school and in the Communist youth organization he belonged to.
tyrant, family, oppression, politician, poverty