Ten films and TV series about communism

There is no substitute for the testimony of actual victims of communist terror. However the following films can help to bring to life aspects of communism and its history. Please be aware that most of these films are based on facts and things that happened but they are fictionalised and not factual accounts.

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1. The Killing Fields. An American journalist works with and becomes a friend of a Cambodian man who experiences the Cambodian Communist take-over. It’s one of the few on this list which depicts Communist Terror from the point of view of the victims. Won 3 Oscars. 

IMDb rating 7.9. Available DVD and on Amazon Prime Video.

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087553/videoplayer/vi4294181145?ref_=tt_ov_vi

3.  Katyn. Polish film following the lives of people who were affected by the mass killing of Polish officers by the secret police of the Soviet Union. Initially hard to follow but building up to a powerful ending. 

IMDb rating 7.1. Available on DVD.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40odyHxnXNU 

4. Chernobyl. Grim but compelling TV series about the nuclear power accident which took place in Soviet Ukraine in 1986. Depicts bravery and self-sacrifice as well as bureaucracy, propaganda and rule by terror. Very highly regarded for realism and acting.

It has achieved the highest ever IMDb rating of 9.6. Available on DVD and Amazon Prime Video.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9APLXM9Ei8

5. The Lives of Others. An agent of the Stasi, the East German secret police, becomes absorbed by the lives of a couple he is spying on. It won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. One of the most popular films to deal seriously with Communism. 

IMDb rating 8.4. Available DVD.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FppW5ml4vdw

8. Life and Fate. Excellent Russian TV series based on a celebrated novel. Primarily focussed on the Battle of Stalingrad but with stories of women who have sons, lovers and husbands in the battle, a scientist accused of being politically unsound and the activities of the NKVD. 

IMDb rating 7.6. 

Trailer: https://www.imdb.com/video/vi120046361/?ref_=tt_vi_i_1

9. Good Bye, Lenin! Gentle comedy. A young man works hard to pretend to his unwell mother that her beloved Communist East Germany continues whereas in fact the Berlin Wall has fallen. 

IMDb rating 7.7 Available as DVD and on Amazon Prime Video.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5hzmwGW4Ac

Another film set in the Soviet Union offers light relief:

The Irony of Fate (or Enjoy Your Bath). Delightful romantic comedy. A classic in Russia watched repeatedly. IMDb rating 8.3. DVD available.


This is not a trailer but an idiosyncratic introduction to the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93r23NYla_E

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