Is it better to acknowledge the almost unpalatable truth, or to embrace the comfort of a myth? From September 1941 until January 1944, Leningrad was sieged and blockaded by the German army. For 900 days, the nearly three million inhabitants were trapped inside the city like rats. In subzero temperatures people had to eat glue, leather soles, cats, and sometimes even their fellow human beings. After 900 days, alsmost a million people had died. All this took place in a country where propaganda was more important than truth. For decades afterwards the survivors were forbidden to speak about what had happened to them so that the heroic myth of the “land of victors” would not be undermined. And now, with Putin in power, the myth is being revived. What starts as a film about personal testimonies of the blockade of Leningrad gradually turns into an epic story about how censorship, propaganda and fear get a grip on the memories of the main characters. A struggle that is still ongoing today.
Jury Report IDFA 2011, winner Best Dutch Documentary
'A film about today’s Russia through the dark and painful hidden memories of a tragedy that took place 70 years ago. A haunting film, that is not about heroes but about victims, that stands against interpretation and defies the barriers of being judgmental. A film that peels the crust of propaganda from around the naked body of pain. Truth is only possible through the eyes and voices of human beings, not in historical volumes or in state discourses…'