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Life Under Stalin

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I just saw a movie last night that i think many of you will like.

If you want to see a movie about what its like to live under communism, go find a movie called The Inner Circle (1991) It's about a movie projectionists played by Tom Hulce who is commissioned to be Stalin's projectionists, after the old one gets "tuberculosis"(executed).

Many themes run through the film, the blind LOVE and allegiance to Stalin,fear of Stalin, and paranoia of being taken off to a gulag for being a "capitalist spy".But I have to warn you, this movie is very depressing(like everything that's russian).

Stalin is presented like he is a god, everybody is afraid of him but they all absolutely adore him.

There is a scene where Sanshin (Tom Hulce) and a woman are sitting eating and Sanshin accidentally puts a cup on top of a newspaper with Stalin's picture that leaves a ring around his image. And both of the characters just look at each other until the woman says, "Don't worry, I wont tell anyone." And there is s also another scene where Sanshin's wife asks him who he loves more, herself or Stalin and he says Stalin . . . and you believe him.

Its a real shame that this movie isn't more well known since hollywood doesn't seem to have the resources to make ONE movie about life under communism.You'd figure that 100 million people disappearing off the planet would produce at least ONE movie . . .

I read in a Roger Ebert Review of the movie that the distributor (Columbia Pictures)mishandled the movie. It only got shown in 3 movie theaters.

If you want to learn more about the movie Roger Eberthas an interesting interview with the director.

"In Europe, it will do well," he said. "It is going to the Berlin Film Festival. It is timely, and they are eagerly waiting for it. But I did not make it for Europe. I made it for America. "

You can buy it here:


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Tom Hulce is one of my favorite actors and has a habit of playing in movies that are incredibly good but get incredibly bad distribution. He starred in a movie called The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket with a cast of then unkowns about a totally misunderstood boy who had a secret that he could actually fly. He eventually let the secret loose and left the petty envy and jealousy of his "friends" behind and went on to become world famous. Very cute story about a guy who didn't compromise his dreams.

Ostensibly it's a children's story but it has a very adult message. Pete Parnell actually wrote the play as a sort of vehicle for Hulce that ended up getting onto film but it's no longer made. So it's one of those Ebay items sadly.

And yes, I've seen The Inner Circle, it was creepy but your review was dead on. :thumbsup: A good film maker could really go to town with Kim Jung Il and North Korea if they wanted. Actually, the problem with doing a movie about real life in North Korea is making it not seem like science fiction.

The real reason there are not more movies like this is that Hollywood would rather ignore what really happened. After all, there are more 'evil' people to make movies about right now. Toung planted firmly in cheek with that last comment BTW.

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