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A cinematic memorial
for the victims of Stalinism

Germany 2024, 14 min., HDV, in English
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“The face is the epiphany, the moment where
the whole of humanity becomes present..."
“The face is what you cannot kill..."
Emmanuel Levinas
This film is dedicated to the victims of Stalinism
as a cinematic contemplation based on photographs of arrested women and men before their execution. These victims came from all areas of the Soviet Union, many of them were immigrants from foreign countries.

Thousands of such photographs were discovered during the early1990s by the NGO Memorial in the Lubyanka, the headquarters of Russia’s secret service in Moscow and re-photographed by the British design historian David King (1943-2016).

The selected 22 faces shown in the film stand
for millions of innocent people murdered by a totalitarian system. The film’s formal simplicity and its slow pace invite the audience to let an emotional connection with the victims evolve. Inserted text conveys background information about the oppression. Intermittently are shown Soviet sculptures which promoted a rigid and bloated supremacy, while true humanness and vulnerability unfold in the faces of the persecuted.

This filmic commemoration aims to emphasize the value and dignity of every individual life at a time of recurring totalitarian threats worldwide.
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