Das Philosophische Quartett – Putins Russland (Egon Bahr, Boris Groys) (2006)

Old but still good analysis… Maybe they’ll do another one? Putins Russland II.

Sokurov’s Alexandra (2007) On Netflix

Alexandr Sokurov’s film Alexandra that I posted about (with the main character being played by famed Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya) is available on Netflix and you can watch it instantly if you are a member. Awesome! 


Nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, this meditation on the effects of war from director Aleksandr Sokurov follows an elderly woman named Alexandra (Galina Vishnevskaya) as she travels to Chechnya to visit a grandson posted there. As seen through Alexandra’s eyes, the barracks and its inhabitants reveal the staggering costs — both human and financial — of endless war.

Drunken Nation

My people: 

specter is haunting Russia today. It is not the specter of Communism—that ghost has been chained in the attic of the past—but rather of depopulation—a relentless, unremitting, and perhaps unstoppable depopulation. The mass deaths associated with the Communist era may be history, but another sort of mass death may have only just begun, as Russians practice what amounts to an ethnic self-cleansing.

Since 1992, Russia’s human numbers have been progressively dwindling. This slow motion process now taking place in the country carries with it grim and potentially disastrous implications that threaten to recast the contours of life and society in Russia, to diminish the prospects for Russian economic development, and to affect Russia’s potential influence on the world stage in the years ahead.

Read the rest.

Dostoevsky Character Does It Again.

While reading some excellent reflections (with all the links and personalia) on (academic) Left at Kevin’s blog (for instance, here), I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite representations of “radical thinkers” in Dostoevsky: Shigalev. Shigalev appears in The Possessed and makes quite an impression with his speech (I’ve highlighted my favorite parts): Continue reading