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“Moscow 1941: the voices of memory”, history through the intimacy of testimonies



It is March 21, 1941. On the shelves of Moscow florists, flamboyant bouquets of mimosas announce spring. The women still wear their fur coats, but already they no longer close them. We can guess from the cheerful smiles they offer to the camera their impatience to see the beautiful days and the blooming of life.

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In the West, Europe is engaged in a murderous war. But here, in the East, the German-Soviet Pact, a non-aggression treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union, signed in August 1939, promises the population to be safe from it. The days of walks in the open air were however very short that year. On June 22, 1941, the Wehrmacht invaded the Soviet Union. Long days began then for the inhabitants of its capital, then years of fear and disarray.

Intimate and original

It is at this pivotal period of a great page in the history of the XXe century dedicated to this original documentary. Produced in 2021 and shown for the first time tonight, the film offers a real reinterpretation of the siege of Moscow through unique historical documents.

Because the raw material from which he (r) writes its history consists of letters and diaries written by Muscovites of the time. These personal writings are precious, not only because they constitute poignant testimonies, but also because they are rare.

Fearing that they would harm them, their authors mostly destroyed them. Or so well hidden that discovering them is a chance that one cannot foresee or want, only hope. Like the diary of a young student, hidden in a leather armchair and found by his daughter after her death in 1984. Eighty years later, these words reach us and touch us as if the voices reading them were the very people who wrote them: the present reads and the past lives.

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