East/West
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Synopsis

After WWII, in 1946 , Alexei Golovine, a Russian doctor who fled to France, accepts to return to Russia, with his French wife and son. They are immediately suspected of treason and of spying for the West. To survive, Alexei has to work for the Communists, his wife revolts. A grand romanesque (and intimist) movie that portrays the grim reality of life in post-war Soviet Union and denounces the extortions of Stalinism. 

Background

What is Stalinism?

Director

Regis Wargnier
Director of 'Indochine'

Main Actors

Sandrine Bonnaire, Catherine Deneuve, Oleg Menchikov

Year

1998

Length

120 min

Awards

Academy Award Nominee, Best Foreign Language Film
Audience Award, Miami International Film Festival
Audience Award, Palm Springs International Film Festival

Discussion

bulletWhy are exiles returning to Russia in general, and the couple in the movie in particular, immediately suspected of and accused of treason?
bulletWhat is communism? What is Stalinism?
bulletCompare Stalin and Hitler
bulletCompare the treatment of the historical background vs. the fate of individuals in "Indochine" and "East/West"
bulletName a city and a region that also symbolize the East/West divide
bulletName a country that symbolizes the North/South divide

 

 

Website designed and maintained by Barbara Vigano, Prof. emeritus of French, Mt. San Antonio College