Nov 25, 2022 • 1HR 34M

TraumaPorn from Adam Curtis

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A podcast by Yasha and Evgenia.
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Evgenia and I talk about TraumaZone, Adam Curtis’ latest doc series. It’s about seven hours long and tries to tell the story of the twin destructions that took place in Russia: the destruction of communism and the destruction of democracy.

Despite a lot of simplifications and its Anglo-Saxon misery porn fetish, Evgenia thinks it’s a valuable historical document and it could only have been made by an outsider, precisely because of how traumatic that decade was for ex-Soviets. Even today few people there want to think about what happened, let alone dig into the archives and construct a clear narrative about those times. The entire population suffers from PTSD.

—Yasha Levine


A couple of notes.

Evgenia mentions a documentary that Paweł Pawlikowski made about Vladimir Zhirinovsky. She wrote about the film a while back — check it out. Evgenia also mentions a couple of documentaries by Johnson & Johnson heir Jamie Johnson: Born Rich and the The One Percent. As Evgenia says, they stand out because documentaries are as a general rule made by the rich about the poor. But Johnson, fresh out college, made a couple of docs about his own oligarchic class — his family and friends, even Ivanka Trump is in there — and that’s very unusual.


Want to know more? Check out previous episodes of The Russians.