The new series of seven films - entitled Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone: What It Felt Like to Live Through the Collapse of Communism and Democracy - will premiere exclusively on BBC iPlayer on 13 October 2022.
Journalist and Bafta award-winning filmmaker Adam Curtis has created a new series of seven films – entitled Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone: What It Felt Like to Live Through the Collapse of Communism and Democracy – that will premiere exclusively on BBC iPlayer on 13 October 2022.
Adam Curtis says: “This project is an immersive history that takes you through Russian society as it lived through a cataclysm that wrecked the lives of millions of people and tore apart the foundations of the whole society...
"Because what the Russians lived through in the 1990s was not just the end of communism, but the failure of democracy too. They experienced the collapse of the two great ideologies of our time in a period of less than ten years...
"By 1999 the word democracy was used as a curse. A curse against your enemies. To understand Russia now - and what might happen in the future - you have to understand what happened back then. For it is out of that rage, the violence, the desperation and the overwhelming corruption that Vladimir Putin emerged.”
Since the late 1980s BBC crews have filmed all across USSR/Russia, but only a tiny fraction of their material was ever used for news reports. The rest lay unseen in cupboards in Moscow.
The seven hour-long films are based on tens of thousands of hours of raw footage recorded in Russia during that time that has never been seen before. This extraordinary footage records the lives and experiences of Russians at every level of society to create a vivid record of everyday life in a collapsing empire.
The films take you from inside the Kremlin to the frozen mining cities in the Arctic circle, the tiny villages of the vast steppes of Russia and the strange wars fought in the mountains and forests of the Caucasus.
Russia 1985-1999 TraumaZone: What It Felt Like to Live Through the Collapse of Communism and Democracy is a BBC Film production for BBC iPlayer.