31 December 2008

Happy New Year

Today we are welcoming 2009, here is a Soviet Era postcard with this theme.

24 December 2008

Russian Oligarks - BBC Documentary (2005)

The official name of the BBC Documentary is Russian Godfathers but I believe it is misleading and Russian Oligarks should be a better name since the documentary does not discuss any of these men's relationships with mafia or murdering people etc.Instead they are represented as political opponents of Russian regime asking for democracy[blah!]

It has a IMDB page located here.

Anyway the documentary is consisted of 3 eppisodes, each approximately 1 hour.
The first eppisode is on Boris Berezovsky.
The documentary claims that during Yeltsin regime he was infact the behind the curtains ruler of Russia and corrupted Yeltsin era. He infact found Putin as a successor but the plans did not work out obviously and he has to escape England as a political exile. Now he became the number one democrat! fighting to put down Putin regime and bring democracy back! to Russia. He also has effects on Ukranian orange revolution with this great amount of green paper.


He even obtained support from George W. Bush's brother. The photo show the happy family during an evening walk on Moscow streets.







Eppisode 2 is on Mikhail Khodorkovsky who is in jail now for some tax charges but many bealive that this is a political issue.
I've heard his name during another CBS documentary which I mentioned here before.
It seems the anti-Putin oligark lobby is very powerful[not surprising with their huge financial power] in England.







And the third eppisode is on Yury Luzhkov, mayor of Moscow since 1992. Documentary first starts with his immense constuction efforts in Moscow, the huge rants created and their aestethic value. He was a political opponent to Putin but then he found the right way and somehow started to support him. Documentary also mentions his wife Elena who is the richest woman in the world, the only female dolar billionaire.

Movie Review: Mongol (2007)

I watched this movie sometime ago but forgot to write about it, i saw its name in a few places so wanted to write one or two sentences about it.

This movie was famous but i did not understand why?, it was supposed to be the story of Cengiz Khan but the movie itself was lacking any storing, when the movie ended we are still waiting for something to happen...
IMDB point is 7.4, i am losing my confidence in them.

I don't recommend to waste time on it.

22 December 2008

Moview Review: Sword Bearer-Mechenosets (2006)


Not bad...not good...if you have time...

Sascha has a superpower and uses this to murder, he falls in love with Katya but they are traced by the police..
To download see here. And IMDB link is here.

18 December 2008

Book Review: Oldugu Gibi

This very nice book is memoirs of Turkish Journalist Zekeriya Sertel during his exile in USSR.
The book contains his impressions,evaluations,remarks and comments on various sides of life in USSR. I found this book even more useful then Soviet Century.
The book contains observations of pressure on people, bad effects of Stain era, Kolhoz system, Khruschev era, Family life and women, economy...everything.
If you are interested in a brief book on how people lived their lives during USSR , this is the book.
See Sertel Vakfi web page for more info on Sertel family.
His wife Sahiba Sertel and their daughter Yildiz Sertel were/are also good journalists/writers.

Movie Review: Kukushka(2002) The Cuckoo


Great! Movie with 17 wins&5nominations. A villager wife, house husband went to war 4 years ago has to accommodate a Red Army Soldier who speaks Russian only, an SS-Solder who speaks Finnish only, and the lady only speaks Lapon-language.
The movie is consisted of these three people, none of them knows and of other two's languages...
Fantastic movie, I loved it. Can be downloaded from here.

Movie Review: Zhest(2006)

What the hell is that? Absolutely stupid, boring movie, waste of time,i could not even finish it.

It has 5.0 points on IMDB but it should be 2.0 at most.
Still if you wanna download you may find it here.

14 December 2008

In Bruges(2008)

Bruges is a dream city, it is my number one city (together with Amsterdam).Some people have claims for Rome or Paris but hell no!. Bruge rocks, it is lovely, old, historic and full of peace.
Anyway the movie takes place in Bruges, I was hoping to see more lovely Bruge scenes...as you can see I can not find much to say about the movie,it was kind a boring. It is hard for me to understand how it became one of Top 250[234] movies in IMDB. I downloaded it from here.

10 December 2008

Book Review: Rembrandt'in Orospusu

This nice novel is based on true life-story of Rembrandt van Rijn. After death of his 3 new born kids his wife also dies, Geertje Dircx takes care of his kids, one day a new servant enters Rembrand's house and becomes his lover but this relationship is not accepted by the church or society which leads to many problems..
Here is the link to buy online.

09 December 2008

Moview Review: (Ярик) Yarik The Robinson (2008)

Sweet boy Yarik loses his mother in airport while she went to buy something to eat and his father's whereabouts are unknown, he tries to find his father and mother himself but this will bring him trouble.
I liked the movie till the very sad end, the boy was sweet and movie was nice but the end did not follow the rule 'the good ones always win/the good ones always survive'. This time bad guys won which was very upset...
Download links can be found here.

08 December 2008

Book Review: Beyaz Zambaklar Ulkesinde

According to the back cover, the book was extremely popular in Turkey in the past due to the fact that Ataturk suggested this book as recommended reading in military schools.
The book is about an evangelist who gives enthusiastic speeches to the Finland public to build a better Finland after the country is occupied by Russians following a long Sweden invasion.
Unfortunately I did not find the book quite interesting so I did not finish it,so mush optimistic and idealistic 'we can make better ' words...does not work for me.
To buy online you may go to ideefixe.

07 December 2008

Movie Review: Admiral (2008)

One of the best Russian Movies I've ever watched. Story of Admiral Aleksandr Kolchak who was the commander of Russian Black See Fleet and became a head of White Army against the Bolshevik revolutionists.
I strongly recommend this movie to everyone, even to the ones not interested in Russia or Russian History.
The download links can be found here and the IMDB link is here.

06 December 2008

Book Review: Ataturk'un Sovyetler'le Gorusmeleri

Very interesting book. The author got permission to Soviet achieves and composed this nearly 600 pages thick book with great information.
Some of this information was already known, some were talked about but not proved and some were unknown or intentionally hidden.
This very valuable resource enlightens the foundation and very first years of young Turkish Republic and its relationships with the also newly founded and enthusiastic neighbor USSR based on Soviet achieve documents.

05 December 2008

Book Review: Moskova Gunlugu

Another unfortunate,dissapointment. I was hoping to see observations about 'Moscow' in this diary but thw writer Walter Benjamin generally wrote about this relationships with other people, mainly his beloved Asja Lacis. I don't know why he or even the publisher chose to distribute such boring, selfish and sometimes rude comments.

25 November 2008

Charlie Wilson's War (2007)


This is a confession of Americans on how they created the Taliban. According to this movie, American congressman distributed weapons worth 1billion dollars worth to the local Afgan guerrillas in order to support them against the Soviet Union in 80s Afgan-Soviet war.
IMDB link is here but i did not find anything interesting in this movie.

Book Review: M.Kemal - M.Frunze Gorusmeleri


This thin book is on meetings of Frunze with M.Kemal on his visit to Turkey. In fact only 10 pages of the book contains the meeting info. The book starts with an overview of Turk-Soviet relations of that time and factors that lead to Frunze's visit from Ukraine, continues with meetings which is in fact the book title and ends with lots of documents. The book can be found on ideefixe.
Well...if you are really on this subject this can be for you, otherwise not very useful.

24 November 2008

The Cuban Missile Crisis Declassified - History Channel


Just like any other History Channel documentary nothing is declassified, all already well known shallow information makes this so-called documentary. Anyway it is still a resource of information about US-Soviet missile crisis at Cuba in 1962. From docuwiki as always.

23 November 2008

Ivan's Childhood (1962) by Tharkovsky

Ivan is a 12 year old child who is a spy for Russian army during WWII against the Germans. Although IMDB point is 8.1 I still did not like it very much. Anyway I also did not like Zerkalo, which is considered as masterpiece of Tharkovsky on many sites,so the problem is maybe me:)
Can be found here.

All the Russias - A Musical Journey


Another documentary from docuwiki.net on the history and culture of Russia. The documentary is consisted of 4 episodes of one hour each.

22 November 2008

2 Photos


Ataturk and Voroshilov.













Ataturk and Ismet Inonu with Aralov [Soviet Ambassador to Turkey] and Aboliv [Azerbaycan Ambassador to Turkey] .Note the red-starred cap of the soldier the between Ataturk and Inonu

Red Star In Orbit


Red Star in Orbit is a 3 episode documentary each 60mins. I found it on docuwiki. The same site states that it has won 3 awards.
  • EMMY for "Outstanding Historical Programming".
  • Chicago Film Festival - Silver Plaque.
  • "The Mission " Prix de Reportage, Jules Vernes Prize, Paris.
The documentary is on history of Soviet Space program, research steps, failures and successes.

The is also a corresponding book on amazon.com with the same name.

Book Review: Sovyet Yuzyili



Sovyet Yuzyili is a 500 page huge book on History of Soviet Unionby Mosche Lewin. The book clearly stated now inefficient, wasteful, highly bureaucratized was the Soviet state.
The books starts with a big coverage of Stalin era, his great mass terror and its effects on the Soviet ruling class and party.
Khrushchev reforms are investigated and Andopov era is briefly discussed Brejnev era is not detailed in a separate topic but overall book claims the corruption of that era. It is interesting that book covers Molotov, Mikoyan, Gryimko and others but no mention of Beria.
I bealive that the original book cover is far better than the Turkish translation.

Book Review: Kurtuluş Savaşında Bolşeviklerle Sekiz Ay 1920-1921


This book is memoirs of Major Veysel Unuvar during national independence wat at the eastern front. Due to close Soviet-Turk relationships those days they were operating with Soviet troots, the books tells how the Soviet troops were playing for both sides and trying to trick Turks to help Armeians.
This 100 page small book is an easy read for anyone who is interested in history, especially history of Turkish national independence war.

21 November 2008

Ismet Pasa documentary by Can Dundar


Can Dundar is on the news with another documentary these days, Mustafa, a documentary-movie on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk but I found another documentary of him on rapidshare.The upper photo is Ismet Pasa with Stalin

Ismet Pasa is another documentary by Can Dundar,the very best friend of Ataturk,great commander of Turkish Armies in national independence war and second President of Turkey after Ataturk's death.
This documentary contains very rare shootage of Turkish committee headed by Inonu to the USSR. Below is the photo of Inonu with Molotov.

29 October 2008

Enemy At The Gates (2001)


Recently I was chatting with a friend about about Russia and the second world war,when the matter arrived to the great battles of Stalingrad and Leningrad together with the recent documentary ,that I watched, named Blocada, he mentioned Enemy at the gates.

The movie is fantastic! wonderful! great! A must see for everyone!. I loved it.
During the end, the comissar's words were very meaningful,not exactly his words but as i recall he said: we wanted to create an equal society that no one envies the neighbor but there is always something to envy some are rich in love/gifts some are poor in love/gifts .

Anyway, the movie is about the story of great Russian sniper Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev and here is the IMDB link.

19 October 2008

Night Watch & Day Watch



The movies Night Watch(Nochnoy dozor 2004) and Day Watch(Dnevnoy dozor 2006) are two movies based on the Night Watch Triology. I liked Night watch more than the night watch but both were very good.

IMBD info for Night watch says "This film broke all records in Russia and became the #1 box-office movie of all time. The record was broken the following year by the Russian movie Turetskiy gambit (2005)"

rapidshare links of both movies can be obtained from foriegnmoviesddl .

Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)


This Oscar awarded movie is a fun and light watch. Movies with very similar subject also appeared in Turkish cinema in the 70s.This time two poor girls fake themselves and pretend to be rich to find wealthy husbands but the plan does not work as expected.

Can be downloaded from foriegnmoviesddl.

Memories of First Ambassadors of Turkey and USSR to Each Other


I found two nice books,first one is Moskova Hatiralari by General Ali Fuat Cebesoy, the first ambassador of new born Turkish Republic to USSR and the second one is Bir Sovyet Diplomatinin Turkiye Anilari by Semyon Ivanovic Aralov who is the first ambassador of USSR to Turkey.

In fact he is the second ambassador but since his predecessor was on duty for a very short time many sources consider Aralov as the first.

Although Cebesoy's book title is "Moskova Anilari" there is nothing about Moscow in the book he did not mentioned anything about the political,economical or social issues of Moscow.In fact half of the book is for the events before he is assinged ti Moscow and one fourth of the book is on Enver Pasa.The rest is his policital strugge with Cicerin and Karahan to get the promised money and arms.

Aralov books deals mainly with daily politics during his time in Ankara.He mentiones his relationships with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ismet Inonu,Rauf Orbay, Refet Bele,Kazim Karabekir.He has great respect and belief in Ataturk. He did not have chance to meet Ismet Inonu for a long time but gives a positive opinion and impression on him. For the other Turkish generals Rauf,Refet and Karabekir he says bitter this, he claims these men cooperate with counter-revolutionists, the hodjas, even the English and French.

Inside Chernobyl's Sarcophagus


I found this documentary here,on docuwiki again.
The documentary named "The Battle of Chernobly" mentioled that a huge construction was built upon the 4th reactor of Chernobly nuclear power plant to prevent radioactivity spread around and this documentary is the visit and investigaion of Soviet Scientists inside tne Sarcophagus to see the current situation which is considered as nearly suicide due to high radiation.

16 October 2008

New magazine found: Russia Profile


I thought Russian Life was the only international English language magazine on Russia but i was wrong .

It seems Russia Profile is another magazine on Russia.In their own words: "RUSSIA PROFILE is an English-language information service offering expert analysis of Russian politics, economics, society and culture."

12 October 2008

The Battle of Chernobyl


This award winning documentary tells us about the great disaster in Chernobly nuclear power plant and the efforts of Russian authorities after the disaster. The documentary contains interviews with top-level responsible people of the era including Gorbachev and top-level army generals. The efforts to build prevent effects of radiation and of course the effects on people.

A definite must-watch for people who are supporting nuclear technology to see how dangerous and deadly can it be.
see also: http://www.chernobyl-project.com/

07 October 2008

Amen (2002)


I remember seeing ads and articles about this movie on press when it was first released but I did not show interest in it at that time since I was fed up with tons of Nazi and WWII movies.

During my visit to Bucharest I visited Causescu's huge palace where there were some religions paitings [I reall Annucuation of Magi clearly but the others were also of the same theme]
and our tour guide said that these paintings on the walls remain from the film Amen. Since the movie did not get permission to shoot scenes in Vatican, the choose this place to create the same atmosphere.

Anyway the movie is about a scientist in SS army which contacts Vatican and informs them about the mass murders of Jews but Vatican acts politically as always and turns him down...

Arktika: The Russian Dream That Failed






This documentary is one eppisode from news world's The Nature of Things series.
The documentary explores the soviet aims to build a great industrialized city on the Arktik-North Pole to benefit rich resources in the region.
It is infact somewhat achieved, once 2million people worked and lived there.
Today these zones are left to their destinites.The documentary also expores the pollition generated by nuclear wastes and remains of nuclear submarines in the nearby ports.
Yet another sad story of soviet high aims,maybe even achieved at high costs of thoudand's lifes and now abandoned...

This wikipedia link is on Arktika class nuclear icebreaker developed in correndespondence with the same project

Russia's war: Blood upon the snow

Yet another great documentary that i found on docuwiki.net. The 10 episode documentary has extremely rich visual contents. It contains both Nazi and Soviet shooting, shocking scenes of brutality, mass murders, famines...crimes against humanity from both sides are displayed in many videos,photos and interviews with victims and survivors.

I strongly recommend this one to everyone interested in history, especially in WWII history, sieges of Leningrad(now St.Petersburg) and Stalingrad(now Volvograd).

Prof.Volkogonov is the historical advisor.

Here are the IMDB, amazon.com and docuwiki links.

30 September 2008

Goold Bye Lenin! (2003)


Very good movie,both comedy and drama,fantastic. The young boy's mother is ill and can not survive another shock so he tries to hide the collapse of East Germany from her :)

Highly recomended! This is the IMDB link.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


I came across this very long movie(3.5 hours), Lawrence of Arabia on Digiturk. The Europeans honestly admit that they fooled Arabs with various tricks and lies to make them fight agains Turks.

Anyway it was a nice watch,I recomment it to everyone.
Here is the IMDB link.

Book Review: Gezgin Gozuyle Rusya ve Kafkasya (2008)


I heard about this book's coming in a topic on forumrus.com board. The book is a collection of travel articles in the Russia and Caucasus region and one of the writers is also a member of the forum board.

Anyway I ordered the book online with great wonder since it was the most recent publication on Russia, the book arrived with a nice size,367 pages.

Soon after,my happiness lead to disappointment, despite its great size the book content was low-quality, most of the writers traveled to the same cities and regions! It was so boring to read 5-6 articles on Moscow ,all mentioning about Kremlin, snow..etc
It would be useful to make a coordination between book chapters other then just putting them together.

But half of the book was nice, the Kaliningrad article deserverves mentioning.

History Channel's Desicive Battles -Stalingrad 1942


Although our history books mention the end of WWII with one simple paragraph : "The US, Atom-bombed Japan so they surrendered and the was is ended" as if Germany is not involved in the war and the war is between US and Japan.

Well..this is not the case :) The war ended when Russians marched to Berlin and stopped Hitler and one of the bloodiest battle was held in Stalingrad.

It is also said that Hitler lost the battle due to bad weather conditions and his rifles and tanks froze :) This documentary tells more, that Germans could not logistically supported their troops and even the generals wanted the surrender,Hitler asked them to hold on...

The documentary tells German soldiers even started cannibalism towards the end due to hunger

CBS TV's "Putin Legacy"


Yet another anti-Putin program from CBS News, "The Putin Legacy" is about Putin's anti-democratic applications in Russia.

The 20 minutes program is mainly based on interviews with Robert Amsterdam,the oligark Mikail Khodorovsky's lawyer.

Khodorovsky is the former CEO of Yukos, now in fail for tax falsifications.

I found this one on docuwiki.net.

CBS TV's "The Putin System" documentary




This documentary titled "The Putin System" is
consistent with the books of Anna Politkovskaya books. The documentary starts with young Putin, his very first days in KGB and his rise to power, first in Petersburg then in Moscow and finally to the presidency.

The documentary gives the idea that Putin is a KGB guy loyal to the KGB system, he wants to rebuild the good old days of KGB system.

The 1.5 hour documentary has interesting Putin photos.