Communism and Film

On Wednesday, June 1, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation will host an event on communist tyranny and film. Titus Techera and Flagg Taylor started a series of conversations on cinema and totalitarianism in 2017. Through discussions of films from Russia, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and the United States, Techera and Taylor aim to provide critical resources for educators and for the general public about a too-neglected topic, communist tyranny, and to make the case that artists are important as public educators. Andrei Konchalovsky’s film Dear Comrades! (2020) and Craig Mazin’s HBO series Chernobyl (2019) are impressive recent contributions to this topic, showcasing the strengths of cinema and television in presenting Soviet Communism at the apex of its power and in its moment of decline, as well as the humanistic intent of the artists, one a Russian survivor of Communism, the other an American, both reflecting on important events from their youth. As the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine shows, the end of communism is not the end of tyranny, and some of the effects of totalitarianism are still so powerful that we must study history to understand current events. Techera and Taylor will discuss what makes both Dear Comrades! and Chernobyl powerful artistic renderings of communist tyranny and why film can be an important medium in coming to terms with totalitarianism and its legacy.


To attend the event in person, please register here. Space is limited so pre-registration is required. You can also watch via live stream on FacebookTwitter, or YouTube.

About the Speakers

Titus Techera is the executive director of the American Cinema Foundation & host of the ACF movie podcast, film critic for Law & Liberty & the Acton Powerblog, contributor to Modern Age, culture columnist for the European Conservative & for Return.

Dr. F. Flagg Taylor IV serves on the Academic Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and is an Associate Professor of government at Skidmore College. He holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in political science from Fordham University and a B.A. from Kenyon College. Taylor’s specialty is in the history of political thought and American government, especially the question of executive power. He is the co-author of The Contested Removal Power, 1789-2010, author of numerous articles, and editor of The Great Lie: Classic and Recent Appraisals of Ideology and Totalitarianism and The Long Night of the Watchman: Essays by Václav Benda, 1977-1989.