Wednesday, March 5, 2008

SPOILER: Joseph Stalin Dies at the End

Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was 74 years old when he died in 1953. No cause of death has ever been reported, and some speculate that his death came under some unfriendly terms.

“There are myths surrounding Stalin’s death due to the mentality that someone that great and powerful can’t die naturally; therefore he must have been murdered,” Svanidze said. The night Stalin died he was surrounded by his closest political circle, including KGB Chief Lavrenty Beria and his successor Nikita Khrushchev. There is a theory that he was poisoned by Beria.
From our 21st century perspective, it looks like Soviets then saw Stalin in much the same way Cubans - particularly those living now in America - view Fidel Castro. The uncertainty of what the future will hold for their relatively unstable nation could drive a person mad. And Stalin seemed to know that he'd rubbed some people the wrong way. It even drove him to be a bit paranoid in his waning years.
Bolshakov was right to sweat: life and death was decided during the showings. When a projectionist broke his machine, spilling mercury, he was arrested and accused of trying to poison Stalin. If Stalin was in a bad mood, Bolshakov would show an old favourite or, even better, a foreign film.
We know then that Stalin would have loved 2007's Best Picture winner. If only he was alive today to see it...

[Russia Today]

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