‘The price of truth’: why a film about the Holodomor caused a heated discussion in the United States

The film is directed by Agnieszka Holland “the Price of truth” (original title in world hire — “Mr. Jones”) is now available on Amazon and other sites after the premiere in the US this spring. In the Western press in recent times there are more reviews on the film, which helps the tape itself in terms of gaining a wider audience, but also sheds light on a little-known tragic page in world history — the Ukrainian famine, writes “Voice of America”.

'Цена правды': почему фильм о Голодоморе вызвал бурное обсуждение в США

Photo: a video frame YouTube/FilmSelect Trailer

The website of the research center “Atlantic Council” in the US published an article by Harvard historian he called “the Film “Mr. Jones” exposes campaign of fake news around the Ukrainian genocide Stalin.”

According to Bad, the film is an important new historical drama with very modern context. It sheds light on one of the worst crimes of Stalin, “at the same time serving as a reminder that today’s talk of fake news are not, in fact, something new”.

“With a focus on journalistic duel for control over the narrative around Stalin’s famine, the film echoes many of the themes that define today’s information battlefield. In the current era of fake news and alternative facts “Mr. Jones” shows that the previous generations have also faced similar challenges. It illustrates the fatal responsibility of the media to convey events precisely at the same time showing continuous authoritarian impulse to concealment and distortion”, writes Sergei Bad.

The importance of the film and in fact, as noted by Harvard Professor, he sheds light on the Stalinist famine, first by showing the international audience the Ukrainian Famine of 1932-33.

“The famine was one of the worst crimes of the 20th century, but he still needs to log in to global consciousness in a manner that would reflect its scale and consequences of the tragedy”, — stated on the website “the Atlantic Council”.

Long “whitening” of Stalin’s famine in Ukraine, which was done by the Moscow correspondent of The New York Times, Walter Duranty, was convenient for an international audience, said the Bad. In his opinion, then the world was more concerned with Hitler’s rise to power in Germany and economic effects of the great depression — so there was little demand for confrontation with the Kremlin in the early 1930s.

“Can’t be a happy ending in Hollywood style in films about the Holodomor, but at least at the end (the film) told the story,” said the Bad.

'Цена правды': почему фильм о Голодоморе вызвал бурное обсуждение в США

Photo: a video frame YouTube/FilmSelect Trailer

In an influential newspaper, The Wall Street Journal journalist James Freeman have collected reviews in the American press on the film “the Price of truth”, in particular, citing the publication of The First Thing: “Words “you should see” grotesquely overused in movie reviews, but in this case they are the successful.”

In many reviews on the film “the Price of truth” (“Mr. Jones”) of the critics also notice that it is particularly relevant in the current “time when the lies, bullying and violence seem to go back instead of progress, equality and justice” and the film “is a useful lesson in the consequences — this is the opportunity to see and learn something,” says Francis Meier in a review in the publication of the First Thing.

Reviews of the film also say that the tape sheds light on a little known Holodomor of 1932-33, when, according to current estimates, from the artificially created famine killed about 4 million Ukrainians.

“They didn’t die naturally… That the famine was a deliberate policy adopted by Stalin with the selection of crops and other food products and a wide persecutions, deportations, and even executions of dissent”, writes the newspaper The New Yorker’s Anthony lane.

“His (Stalin’s) big scheme of the collectivization of agriculture failed… but conceptually, it could not be a failure. Who better than the Ukrainians, who are often distrusted and demonized which Moscow seemed on the role of scapegoats and saboteurs?” asks lane.

In the influential publication National Review Kylie Smith recalls that for Polish Director Agnieszka Holland theme crimes of the Communist regime is not something distant, because it is during the suppression of Soviet tanks in the Prague spring of 1968 was arrested by the Communists.

In reviews read that the film is presented as a duel between the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones and the correspondent of the newspaper The New York Times in Moscow, Walter Duranty, who in a positive light, wrote about Stalin’s Soviet Union was denying the famine in Ukraine.

Smith called Duranty “the man The New York Times in Moscow — or, rather, in The New York Times”.

Very positive feedback from recenzenti causes the game actor Peter Sarsgaard, Duranty played, this actor is very good the role of negative characters in films.

In reviews of the film in the American media quoted phrase of one of the articles Duranty, which was included in the script (above script worked American Andrea the Hut). Duranty about the excesses of Stalin says: “you can’t cook eggs and not breaking eggs”… But the awful truth was that during the famine broke human life.

In one of the reviews States that Russia still does not recognize the Holodomor, and Dmitry Medvedev as President of Russia, called the Holodomor in 2008, “the so-called” and said that the image of Ukrainians as victims of the Stalinist crimes is “cynical and immoral”.

In an interview with New York Daily News Director Agnieszka Holland said that after the fall of the Iron curtain in 1989, “mankind quickly forgets the crimes of communism”.

'Цена правды': почему фильм о Голодоморе вызвал бурное обсуждение в США

Photo: a video frame YouTube/FilmSelect Trailer

But “some crimes against humanity are intolerable,” says the Director, adding that people know little about the events that are reflected in the film, and even the real number of victims of Stalin’s famine still not known.

“Nobody talks about it. Nobody knows about it. So I thought that somehow, even required to shed light on this,” said Holland correspondent.

Among those who published a review of the film, the newspaper The New York Times, Moscow correspondent where he worked Walter Duranty. The author of the review Manolo Dargis wrote that the film is a “political Thriller, with steadfast, unfaltering pulse”.

“Holland is one of the Directors not requiring the dialogues for the expression of content, and some of the strongest scenes in the film “Mr. Jones” is silent, or almost without words. When Gareth goes to Ukraine, the film is transferred in an increasingly eerie, as if from other worlds, peace. In this frozen world has a touch of danger when the other passengers in the train car Gareth look at him, how he eats, with great psychological intensity,” reads the review Manolo Daris.

“At the time when he escaped from his attendant, walking through the snowy, deserted countryside — looks like he goes through a wide graveyard,” writes The New York Times.

And the newspaper The Wall Street Journal, calling the film “brilliant”, says he is committed to ensure that “neither the crimes of the Marxist regime, nor of his sacrifice on the wide cemetery will not be forgotten”.