The Death of Otto Warmbeir Shows Severity of Communist Rule

The recent death of an American student from torture in North Korea for taking down a communist poster continues to characterize the history of communism, a theme explored in the making of The Frozen Theater feature film about Russia.

The passing of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who suffered under torture for 17 months in prison for taking down a political poster in North Korea shows how serious communist regimes take the information space at the expense of individual rights. The propaganda including media, art, and of course posters produced in North Korea and China originated from the Soviet Union. Socialist Realism is the underlying artistic foundation for continuing communist regimes. Often overlocked is the fine print at the bottom of these posters which condemns the act of removing propaganda from the public sphere as a criminal act. Artists who rebel often try to decode the realities of these spaces. During the filming of The Frozen Theater in Russia, Grisha Bruskin discussed his own artistic attempts to show the difference between Soviet mythology and historical reality lived during that time. Bruskin is one of the last of that generation.   

 

Excerpt from Interview with Grisha Bruskin

"I wanted to make a painting in the shape of a letter to somebody from the future and one day, somebody will discover this painting and will learn the truth about what life was like in the Soviet Union. It was intended as a letter to be discovered in the future. Very unexpectedly, the Soviet Union collapsed and I ended up being the very same person in the future who I had sent my letter to. [Read More]