Magnitogorsk; Forging the New Man

Russia's Magnitogorsk was a spectacular example of the will and determination to forge a new world and a new man. What happened to those people and to Magnitogorsk? We look at it then, a stunning example of an ideology at work, and we look at it and its people today.

For our reference, is the 1932 film by Joris Ivens, SONG OF THE HEROES. The film was commissioned as a propoganda device to portray the buildup of the Soviet Union. For the subject of his film, Joris Ivens chose Vilkot Kalmykov, one of the men working on Magnitogorsk. He was the best example of the men that were creating the new world.

Using many sequences from the Iven's film, Magnitogorsk imparts the spirit of the period and reveals its many casualties. The city was built by sheer force. Americans designed the factories. Highly inspired engineers, and communist youth, men like Kalmykov, were recruited, but most of the workers were deportees, driven there as slave laborers. One group, the Kulaks were small farmers or landowners, who came under the disfavor of Stalin.
They were persecuted, rounded up and shipped to the Magnitogorsk site where they were forced to work.

The film Magnitogorsk visits the people and the families who built the city. Kalmyks's widow speaks. Initially hailed as a champion, six years later, her husband was executed by the Stalin regime. His widow speaks of her husband and of those times, the Kulaks tell of their trials and tribulations, and the children of today speak. A remarkable time and a troubled time, Magnitogorsk captures a unique period in the history of a nation.
56 minutes.

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