When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.
Novocherkassk, USSR, 1962. Lyudmila is a Party executive and devout communist who had fought in WWII for Stalin's ideology. Certain that her work will create a communist society, the woman detests any anti-Soviet sentiment. During a strike at the local electromotive factory, Lyudmila witnesses a laborers' piquet gunned down under orders from the government that seeks to cover up mass labor strikes in USSR. After the bloodbath, when survivors flee from the square, Lyudmila realizes her daughter has disappeared. A gaping rift opens in her worldview. Despite the blockade of the city, mass arrests, and the authorities' attempts to cover up the massacre, Lyudmila searches for her daughter. We don't know how the search will end, but realize that the woman's life won't ever be the same.
Official submission of Russia for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. See more »
At around 28 minutes of this film, there is a reference that Novocherkassk is some kind of Bangladesh. The film is set in 1962 but Bangladesh only became an independent country ten years later. See more »
A woman who has staunchly devoted herself to building a Communist state in Russia in the 1960s is forced into a moral reckoning when the conflict between her ideology and those rebelling against it gets personal.
Yuliya Vysotskaya delivers a taut, sensational performance as Lyuda, a woman whose daughter is among those missing after a deadly riot at a factory. Suddenly, big picture ideals and abstract ambitions collapse around her and her entire life becomes laser focused on finding out whether or not her daughter is still alive. To an American audience watching this movie in 2021, it is impossible not to see our own cultural dilemma reflected, not necessarily in the specifics, but rather in the general attitudes. The Soviet Union of 1962 looks a lot like the United States now, with different factions of our country wanting completely opposite things and determined not to budge an inch.
"Dear Comrades!" has a lean spareness to it that I liked. It feels like hardly a frame is wasted, and it's all captured in striking black and white.
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