The Corner

Strange Discrepancies

While the Western world’s Hitler obsession shows no sign of abating, Stalin’s crimes are being shoved down the memory hole.

I wanted my kids to see Andrei Konchalovsky’s 1991 movie The Inner Circle, one of the very best Stalin movies, although it approaches the horrors obliquely. (Although you can make a case that that’s the best way to approach them.)

To my surprise, The Inner Circle is not on the Netflix database. Educational value aside, it’s just a really good movie, with some gripping & memorable scenes. I especially remember Bob Hoskins as Beria — a role he was born to play. It’s certainly a better movie, just as a movie, than three-quarters of the stuff listed on Netflix.

The reason they don’t have it seems to be that the movie never made its way onto DVD. In cases like this there’s usually an unofficial DVD out there somewhere, though. If anyone can put me on to one, to rent or buy, I’d be much obliged.

In the same general zone, I’m interested to read about this Chinese labor-camp movie. I wonder if that’ll make it to Netflix. It’s not as though we’ve been short of Chinese camp literature. I read Bao Ruo-wang’s Prisoner of Mao 30 years ago, and the French original is ten years older than that. Where have the filmmakers been?

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