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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 4: Soviet Dinner, or Sausage Nostalgia

August 31, 2010
Soviet-era dinner with tongue, shuba (or herring under fur coat), all following Refusenik documentary screening

This is the last of my posts on the Refusenik documentary screening. Catch up on the earlier posts: Part 1: Defining Moments; Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued; and Part 3: We Weren’t All Refuseniks. To give you a sense of how this little Soviet dinner event happened, it really started out as a…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 3: We Weren't All Refuseniks

August 18, 2010

*This is the third in the series on the Refusenik documentary. Read the first two posts here (Part 1: Defining Moments) and here (Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued). As I wrote in my first post on the Refusenik documentary screening, the evening gave me a chance to see the different levels of knowledge…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued

August 17, 2010

*This is the second in a series. Missed my earlier posts? Catch up here: Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 1: Defining Moments I was talking recently about the Refusenik documentary and my Edmonton screening to a couple of people, both Canadian Jews here in Toronto. The Soviet-Jewry cause had been a monumental issue for Canadian and…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 1: Defining Moments

August 3, 2010

*This is the first in a series. Read part 2 here: Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued A few weeks ago, I did a film screening in Edmonton for a small group of Soviet Jews, all family friends, who I’ve previously interviewed for my project. The film is Refusenik, a documentary…

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New film: Soviet Jews in Minnesota

June 3, 2010

Leaving aside the questionable capitalization—The American VOICES of the Soviet Jews—this new documentary from the Minnesota Soviet-Jewish community captures the stories of Soviet Jews who lived through WWII. I like that it turns the camera onto ordinary people who just happened to be born into the wrong time and place. And that after all that…

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Soviet gulags just not sexy enough for the zeitgeist

June 2, 2010
Cover of Purge by Sofi Oksanen

I just finished reading Purge by Sofi Oksanen, recently translated into English from Finnish. I’ve been slowly reading for about a week now, but then halfway through, I suddenly got much more into it, and finished the entire book in a night. It’s not a book to read before bed, in case you also plan…

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Three generations, three languages: A former refusenik on language and identity

April 19, 2010

Ha’aretz has an interview with Soviet refusenik writer David Markish, who immigrated to Israel in 1972. Thirty-six years later, Markish still writes all his books (15 so far, though almost none available here) in his native Russian. Markish’s father, Peretz Markish, a prominent Yiddish writer, was executed by the Soviet regime and the family was…

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