Phoenix Satellite Television Co Ltd

Stalin the funeral of a god

Synopsis

On March 5th 1953, one of the last great dic­ta­tors died. He was one of the myth­i­cal fig­ures of the 20th cen­tury. He ruled over 250 mil­lion men and women for 24 years. Joseph Vis­sar­i­onovich Dzhugashvili Stalin died of a cérébral haem­or­rhage at the age of 73. The cult of his per­son­al­ity which started twenty years before was then at its peak. We have found Russ­ian footages in colour of his bur­ial. This both impres­sive and beau­ti­ful film was com­pletely made up accord­ing to the Soviet pro­pa­ganda style of the time. It shows pic­tures of col­lec­tive mourn­ing, weep­ing crowds, huge por­traits, marathon speeches and trib­utes from “brother-countries”.

These pic­tures and sounds are rel­e­vant not only of the his­tor­i­cal event but also of the impor­tance Stalin had for his peo­ple and for his time. Les Films du Vil­lage are happy to present a new edit­ing of this 52’ ver­sion, which has been mod­ernised and improved. The Eng­lish ver­sion of the com­men­tary is available.

Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez, the Pres­i­dent of Venezuela, is undoubt­edly the most sin­gu­lar, para­dox­i­cal and colour­ful fig­ure of all the politi­cians who have marked the his­tory of the Latin-American con­ti­nent in the past twenty years. This forty-six year old for­mer para­trooper offi­cer admires Simon Boli­var, the Che and Jesus Christ he very often quotes. When he came into power the social and eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try was dis­as­trous — despite its oil.

For the past two years he has been fight­ing all bat­tles with the enthu­si­asm of the crowds of under­priv­i­leged, whose hero he is, as sole sup­port. Is he going to erad­i­cate mis­ery as he has bet he will ? Is he going to fall into the trap of fas­cism, as his oppo­nents, most of them belong­ing to the rul­ing class, fear he might ? Who is this Chris­t­ian and rev­o­lu­tion­ary Boli­var­ian who, accord­ing to our cri­te­ria, seems to be so unrea­son­able in his believ­ing that mir­a­cles can happen ?

"History will tell" - Fidel Castro