Evgenia and I talk about TraumaZone, Adam Curtis’ latest doc series. It’s about seven hours long and tries to tells 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Despite a lot of simplifications and its annoying Anglo-Saxon misery porn fetish, Evgenia thinks it’s a valuable historical document and it could only have been made by an outsider, precisely because of how traumatic the decade was for the ex-Soviets. Few people there want to think about happened, let alone alone dig in the archives and construct a clear narrative about those times. The entire population suffers from PTSD.
A couple of notes.
Evgenia mentions a documentary that Paweł Pawlikowski made about Vladimir Zhirinovsky. She wrote about the film a while back. 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 — and that’s very unusual.
Want to know more? Check out previous episodes of The Russians.