14 user 6 critic

Testimony (1987)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | November 1988 (USA)
The story of the great Soviet Composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and his life and career during the rule of Stalin.


Tony Palmer
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Kingsley ... Dmitri Shostakovich
Sherry Baines ... Nina Shostakovich
Magdalen Asquith Magdalen Asquith ... Galya Shostakovich
Mark Asquith Mark Asquith ... Maxim Shostakovich
Terence Rigby ... Joseph Stalin
Ronald Pickup ... Marshall Tukhachevsky
John Shrapnel ... Andre Zhdanov
Robert Reynolds Robert Reynolds ... Brutus
Vernon Dobtcheff ... Gargolovsky
Colin Hurst Colin Hurst ... Stalin's Secretary
Joyce Grundy Joyce Grundy ... Stalin's Mother
Mark Thrippleton Mark Thrippleton ... Young Stalin
Liza Goddard ... The English Humanist
Peter Woodthorpe ... Alexander Glazunov
Robert Stephens ... Vsevolod Meyerhold


The story of the great Soviet Composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) and his life and career during the rule of Stalin.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Last theatrical movie of Robert Urquhart (The Journalist). See more »


When Shostakovich imagines Stalin speaking to him on his deathbed, the position of his head moves between shots. See more »


Joseph Stalin: I'm what people really want, my friend. One day, you'll see, they'll ask for me back...
See more »

Crazy Credits

By the time of his death, August 9, 1975, Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, People's Artist of the Soviet Union, had completed 15 Symphonies, 15 String Quartets, 4 Operas and 45 Ballets and Film Scores; in all, at least 147 works. By the time of his death, March 5, 1953, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, Marshal of the Soviet Union, had murdered, or caused to be put to death, in peacetime, in all, at least 30 million people. See more »


Referenced in Evening Urgant: Ben Kingsley/Zemlyane (2013) See more »

User Reviews

A remarkably fine film ...
22 March 2007 | by sean-472See all my reviews

This is a remarkably fine film, with a genuine look at the kind of fascism/totalitarianism and fear that come whenever societies stray too far from the center, whether lurching too far left and killing millions or too far right and doing the same thing ... Kingsley and the supporting cast do an amazing job. Why does it have such a low rating? This is a cinematic achievement as good as any I can recall. The sets bring back a complete and accurate look at what the "flavor" of Soviet Stalinist Communist architecture and life were like (I studied Russian and Russia during the Cold War era and know a bit about this if you are skeptical). The music is, of course, remarkable; but it's not just the music, but also how it's used. Whether in relation to the Soviets, the Nazis, the intelligentsia, the proletariat, or Shostakovich's own family. Again, I think this movie should be at least a 7.5; and wonder why it isn't.

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Release Date:

November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Testemunho See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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