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Preview In-Development Feature Documentary 'Black Russians - The Red Experience'

by Courtney
December 7, 2012 12:07 PM
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Titled Black Russians - The Red Experience, the film will explore "the lives and experiences of the black Americans who went to the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era in search of an ideal life. Escaping from racism and the Great Depression, they dove into new lives, having “nothing to lose” and no reason to turn back. Did they find what they were looking for? Their descendants who live in Russia and America today will share a story of their ancestors as well as their own."

I'm already hooked on the premise.

Today Russia is a country where racism is ever-increasing, especially with an influx of African immigrants also looking for better lives for themselves, just as black Americans did decades ago.

According to one report by the BBC... nearly 60% of black and African people living in Russia's capital, Moscow, have been physically assaulted in racially motivated attacks. Africans working or studying in the city live in constant fear of attack. The report's clear conclusion was that black people living in Russia exist in a state of virtual siege. Many of the attacks are pre-meditated and extremely violent, . One Nigerian migrant interviewed by the BBC had been repeatedly stabbed in the back and then shot. Another man said his attacker had attempted to remove his scalp. Officially there are some 10,000 Africans living in Moscow - many as economic migrants.

Black Russians is currently in development, from USA-based Red Palette Pictures, along with UK-based 1066 Productions, with director Yelena Demikovsky leading a team of academic researchers, consultants and more.

It's expected to debut in 2013.

No clips or trailer to look at yet, but check out a poster below; and underneath, you'll find a news report on racism in Russia today:

Part 1 (Part 2 underneath):

Part 2:

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  • yelena demikovsky | January 8, 2013 10:19 PMReply

    Hi, I just bumped into your blog and actually would like to thank you for your interest in my project. There is now a trailer that you can see on the youtube. I haven't really promoted it but here is the link:
    Thanks again,
    Yelena Demikovsky

  • karla | December 9, 2012 2:43 PMReply

    really looks interesting....

  • getthesenets | December 7, 2012 10:57 PMReply

    "I'd like a drink please, preferably some vodka"
    "How about a Black Russian?"

  • Mekisha Hale | December 7, 2012 3:35 PMReply

    I've always thought about if there were any blacks in the Soviet Union. Many Many years ago I remember seeing some program that showed an European black in the Soviet Union. But this documentary is interesting to hear about. And is about time to hear that were blacks who lived in Russia. But this documentary by reading this article goes even further with American Blacks who went to the Soviet Union at the time of the Stalinist era to have completely different lives from the country they had experienced with racism and the great depression. Sounds interesting that these American Blacks would choose The Soviet Union. What I've always thought thou is that American Black would go places like Paris and other places then thinking about Russia. But go figure,anyway it's the descendants of those American's who live in Russia and who live in America. This should be on top of the history channel or something. This could be another mind blowing experience into the this very interesting topic.

  • Ava | December 7, 2012 4:03 PM

    I once heard from a Russian guy himself that he was in Washington D.C. when he heard someone speak to him in Russian but when he turned around he only saw a Black guy. He soon realized that it was the guy who was speaking to him and he proceeded to relate the great conversation he had and how comforting and unexpected it was that, on a steet, in the capital of the U.S.A. he found this Russian guy about the same age as him, out of nowhere at night. He mentioned that there were Blacks in their late 20s, early 30s who are children of some of the athletes who migrated to the USSR before and after the 1980 Olympics. He said he hope he wasn't causing offense when he mentioned that these descendants were often referred to as the Children of the (1980s) Olympic Games. Sometimes when I heard reports about xenophobic harassment and violence in Russia, my thoughts often turn toward these 'Children' and how they are faring.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | December 7, 2012 12:10 PMReply

    Robeson still doesn't get his due today because of his affiliation with the Communist Party and the Soviet Union.

  • JMac | December 7, 2012 8:25 PM

    Still, I think he doesn't get much attention due to the time period of his most significant work and the timing of his death, iow - due to the level of racial tolerance/acceptance. Jack Johnson doesn't get much love but America kisses Muhammad Ali's ass like it's chocolate candy. Either way, this is an interesting doc. I remember in 4th grade (mid 1980s) two white russian girls and their mother visited our school as part of their tour of america. Being a predominantly black school, one student asked the obvious question of whether there were any black people in the Soviet Union. They giggled and said no - as if it was the silliest question they'd ever heard. Glad to know they were the ones who were mistaken and White Nights wasn't a fanciful movie re: Gregory Hines' character.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | December 7, 2012 7:21 PM

    Of course I'm referring to America as a whole. How could our people not embrace a Renaissance man such as Robeson?

  • JMac | December 7, 2012 3:16 PM

    I don't know of any black person who would refuse to learn about or acknowledge Robeson for being associated (rightly or wrongly) with communists. Or are you referring to American society as a whole, not the black community?

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