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Russia & Ukraine

Russia & Ukraine

A special collection of films that explore the recent political history of Russia and Ukraine.

Discover three films by Ukrainian-born Vitaly Mansky, on Mikhail Gorbachev's place in history (GORBACHEV. HEAVEN), Vladimir Putin's rise to power (PUTIN’S WITNESSES), and conflicts between Russia and Ukraine as viewed from the tensions within his own family (CLOSE RELATIONS). Also of interest is Jessica Gorter's THE RED SOUL, which explores Russia's feelings towards Stalin and their country's historical traumas.

For more films about the past, present, and future of Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union, click here.

For more films by Mansky, check out his director page.

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Russia & Ukraine
  • 900 Days

    Directed by Jessica Gorter • Documentary • 2011 • 77 minutes

    Jessica Gorter's 900 DAYS contrasts the devastating and unforgettable stories recounted by survivors of the Siege of Leningrad, the infamous German blockade, which caused the deaths of more than 1 million people during World War II, wi...

  • Close Relations (Rodnye)

    Directed by Vitaly Mansky • Documentary • 2016 • 114 minutes

    Following Ukraine’s revolution in 2013, filmmaker Vitaly Mansky decides to travel throughout the region and visit his family. He talks on camera with family members in Ukraine, Crimea and Donetsk, hoping to gain a better understanding ...

  • Gorbachev. Heaven

    Directed by Vitaly Mansky • Documentary • 2021 • 100 minutes

    GORBACHEV. HEAVEN finds acclaimed director Vitaly Mansky (UNDER THE SUN) at home with a man who helped to shape the 20th-century: Mikhail Gorbachev. 

    The Soviet leader was acclaimed as the architect of Glasnost and Perestroika, polici...

  • How Putin Came to Power

    Directed by Tania Rakhmanova • Documentary • 2005 • 52 minutes

    In August 1999, Vladimir V. Putin, head of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the KGB, was appointed Prime Minister. On December 31st of that year, Boris Yeltsin announced that Putin would succeed him as President ...

  • Putin's Witnesses

    Directed by Vitaly Mansky • Documentary • 2018 • 102 minutes

    On December 31, 1999, Russian president Boris Yeltsin went on live television just before midnight. He announced he was stepping down, and his chosen successor, Vladimir Putin, would take over as acting president. Putin promised a pres...

  • The Red Soul

    Directed by Jessica Gorter • Documentary • 2017 • 90 minutes

    The Red Soul lays bare the Russian psyche of today and shows a world full of contradictions. In a country where hardly any family escaped the hunger, fear and violence resulting from Stalin’s reign of terror, no one has ever been convi...

  • Sleeping Souls

    Directed by Alexander Abaturov • Documentary • 2013 • 50 minutes

    Atchinsk is a Siberian town 2500 miles away from Moscow where Soviet dissidents and, before them, the Tsar's opponents were deported. It's pre-election season, and the small, sleepy town is abuzz with the voices of regime supporter...