Solovky Power

This powerful and controversial film about the first Soviet prison camp was made a full three years before the collapse of the Soviet regime-and played a role in that collapse. Established in a fifteenth-century monastery on a remote White Sea island in 1923, Solovky operated under the Leninist motto “We will drive mankind to happiness with an iron hand.” In the film, survivors of the camp offer a devastating account of the brutality and injustice prisoners endured. Unique archival footage including a 1928 promotional documentary, miraculously survived letters and personal photos, and stories told by former inmates create a portrait of the camp that was the model for the dreaded gulag archipelago. Goldovskaya's film was a revelation here as it was in Russia. “Of course the film is painful, but the dominant feeling is of liberation” (Amy Taubin, Village Voice). “First-rate film journalism of historical importance” (Vincent Canby, New York Times).

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.