French filmmakers filmed Last GULAG in Norilsk
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French filmmakers filmed Last GULAG in Norilsk

November 13, 2020

Fifteen years ago, The Last GULAG documentary was released in France.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The France-5 TV channel chose Norilsk as the location for filming. Director Emanuel Amara, cameraman Frank Rebel and translator Mark Ely were accompanied by the main character of the film, a former Norillag prisoner Lev Netto.

According to Amara’s plan, in Norilsk Netto walked through memorable places, met with acquaintances and strangers. In conversations and meetings, a conclusion had to be born about the current state of the people’s memory of the past. Moreover, the conclusion had to be drawn not by the authors, but by the audience of the film.

In the northern city, French TV journalists recorded the compiler of the Norillag map, Vyacheslav Blohin. The 91-year-old Vasily Romashkin went to the icy Golgotha, blown by the October winds, with the film crew, and that, according to the translator, was the most emotionally and technically difficult shooting.

On the Political Repression Victims Remembrance Day eve, the group, together with Lev Netto, flew to Moscow to film a rally at the Solovetsky Stone. Six weeks later, Emanuel Amara and Frank Rebel completed their first film about Russia.

Mark Ely said that the project, like all the works of an independent documentary filmmaker who went to shoot in Norilsk with a double leg fracture, was a success.

Read other materials of our photo project in the History spot section.

Text: Varvara Sosnovskaya, Photo: Zinnur Shakurov

November 13, 2020

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