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The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin (1997)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 82 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Documentary on how composer Dmitri Shostakovich used his Fourth to Ninth Symphony as a silent protest against the crimes of Stalin.

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Title: The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin (1997)

The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin (1997) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Valery Gergiev ...
Himself - Conductor "Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9" and "Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk District" / Interviewee / Pianist "Rayok"
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic ...
Themselves - Orchestra "Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9"
Flora Litvinova ...
Herself - Friend
Graham Haley ...
Shostakovich (voice)
Dmitri Shostakovich ...
Himself (archive footage)
Dmitri Tolstoy ...
Himself - Composer
Joseph Stalin ...
Himself (archive footage)
Bulat Minzhilkiev ...
Boris - Opera "Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk District" / Himself - Baritone "Rayok"
Irina Loskutova ...
Katerina - Opera "Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk District"
The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre ...
Themselves - Orchestra (Opera "Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk District")
Karen Khachaturyan ...
Himself - Composer (as Karen Khachaturian)
Abram Gozenpud ...
Himself - Musicologist
Mariana Sabinina ...
Herself - Musicologist
Mariya Konniskaya ...
Herself - Friend
Natan Perelman ...
Himself - Friend
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Storyline

During the Interwar period and World War Two, Joseph Stalin dictated Russia in a bloody manner. Composer Dmitri Shostakovich couldn't agree at all with the policies that the tyrant used, but speaking out loud was impossible. It would have cost him his life. Shostakovich found another way: art. This documentary shows how Shostakovich used his Fourth to Ninth Symphony as a silent protest against the crimes of Stalin. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

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Release Date:

10 May 2003 (Czech Republic)  »

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of 'Veniamin Basner' who passed away during the making of this film. See more »

Connections

Features Shame (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No. 6
Performed by Netherlands Radio Philharmonic
Conductor: Valery Gergiev
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User Reviews

 
Boo Stalin!
18 October 2006 | by (Vancouver) – See all my reviews

The War Symphonies: Shostakovich Against Stalin is all about one composer's (that would be Shostakovich) fight against a brutal regime (that would be Stalin). We've seen a lot of these types of movies before, heck some even current (most of them of course coming from China), but this topic never gets old. Communist Russia, for some odd strange reason, is fascinating to me, so this was especially interesting. Weinstein deftly handles the material using a wealth of stock footage not only of Shostakavich and Stalin, but of general scenes from Communist Russia (and best of all, from those old Communist manifesto musicals), and makes this film about classical music (usually a warning sign for me) passable.


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