IDFA

Jessica Gorter – The Red Soul #IDFA2017

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10 min. and 47 sec.

More than 50 years after the death of Joseph Stalin, Russia is still divided.

Play Podcast
10 min. and 47 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Jessica Gorter, director of the film The Red Soul.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

Director Jessica Gorter presented her feature-length documentary, The Red Soul, at the 30th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. Gorter talks to us about her interest in post-Soviet Russia and Josef Stalin’s popularity in the country more than fifty years after his death. In The Red Soul, the director shot many people from many different backgrounds telling many different types of stories, and we ask her how she found them and whether they were influenced by the presence of the camera. In The Red Soul, there is a moment in the end in which two old women, among the protagonists of the documentary, worry about the possibility of having said something that will make Russia look bad. Gorter suggests that this is a moment that refers to the act of filmmaking itself.

The Red Soul:  More than 50 years after the death of Joseph Stalin, Russia is still divided. Was Stalin a great leader who made Russia into a superpower? Or was he a ruthless dictator, responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people? Virtually no family has been left untouched by the consequences of Stalin’s regime, and in every corner of the country, victims’ families are struggling with history. A father wanders through a desolate forest with his teenage daughter, in search of the mass graves of Russian prisoners. Two sisters whose mother was taken away to a prison camp share their early memories. They are still scared to talk about the events openly, because it would put their fatherland in a negative light, and there are plenty of others who would prefer to forget this dark chapter of history altogether. Throughout society, Stalin’s popularity is growing, and there is a yearning for a sense of national unity. The Red Soul shows how the past lives on in present-day Russia, and thus makes its mark on the future.

  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Jessica Gorter
  • Interviewee role
    Director
  • Film title
    The Red Soul
  • Festival section
    Feature-Length Competition
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