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Forget the Mueller investigation. If you want a real look at Russian fake news and Moscow’s political meddling, check out the trailer for Dovlatov, the new drama from Russian auteur Aleksey German Jr.
Posited as six days in the life of writer and reluctant journalist Sergei Donatovich Dovlatov, it traces his struggles to write, and publish, under the censorious strictures of the Soviet Union in the 1970s.
Unable to join the Soviet-controlled writers’ union, a condition for having his books published, Dovlatov was forced to work as a “journalist,” publishing state propaganda as news. It’s familiar territory for German Jr., who explored the stifling nature of Soviet culture in his 2008 feature Paper Soldier, which won the Silver Lion in Venice.
Dovlatov, which will have its world premiere in competition at the Berlin film festival, follows six days in the life of Sergei Dovlatov and his friend, the poet Joseph Brodsky, before both of them immigrate to New York and escape the Soviet machine.
Dovlatov would go on to publish his stories in The New Yorker, but he died of a heart attack in 1990 before he could witness the huge success of his work in post-Soviet Russia. His books have since sold millions of copies, and he is one of the best-loved contemporary Russia authors.
Check out the first trailer of the film, which gives a feel for Dovlatov’s ironic charm, as well as the desperation of his life in the USSR.
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