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The Moscow Skyscraper

Last night I watched a documentary on Sundance called The Moscow Skyscraper. Here's what Sundance has to say about it:

Documentary filmmaker Pavel Lounguine casts a critical eye on Russian society and history by focusing on the story of a monumental apartment building designed to house Stalin’s KBG officers and the Moscow elite. Built by prisoners of war and Gulag detainees, the massive neo-gothic high-rise still houses descendants of Stalin’s inner circle, who now prize their prime Moscow real estate. Focusing on the skyscraper’s current inhabitants, Louguine paints an ironic and revealing profile of a country still riven by the dark shadows of its past.

It doesn't look like Sundance is going to rebroadcast this film anytime soon but you can see a clip of the film on the Sundance site.

The filmmaker points out how Soviet citizens under Stalin lived in a constant state of both fear and exhilaration and how buildings like the great Stalinist towers ringing Moscow caused great pride and fear at the same time. I was struck by a visual and psychological similarity to the tripods in Speilberg's War of the Worlds, which both mesmerized and terrorised the helpless victim-cities they attacked.

About Bob Atchison

Bob Atchison
Bob Atchison has had a life-long fascination with the Alexander Palace, which began when he was a child. He was the first American to visit the palace officially since 1941 and was instrumental in its reestablishment as a museum. Bob was the protege of Anatoli Kuchumov, former curator of the Palace before the war, and he created this website in 1996.

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