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Traumazone- an outstanding look at the collapse of communism and democracy in Russia


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This seven part series is available free on iPlayer, or, if you are restricted from this, freely available from RARBG or Pb.

Russia 1985-1999 - TraumaZone (1280x720p HD, 50fps, soft Eng subs)

What it felt like to live through the collapse of communism and democracy. A series of films by Adam Curtis.

E01 Part One - 1985 to 1989
What it felt like to live through the collapse of Communism - and Democracy.
Adam Curtis’ immersive history takes you through Russian society as it lived through a cataclysm that wrecked the lives of millions of people and tore apart the foundations of the whole society. What the Russians lived through in the 1990s was not just the end of communism, but the failure of democracy too. They experienced the collapse of the two great ideologies of our time in a period of less than ten years. By 1999 the word democracy was used as a curse. A curse against your enemies. It is out of that rage, the violence, the desperation and the overwhelming corruption that Vladimir Putin emerged.
E02 Part Two - 1989 to 1991
President Gorbachev still believes he can save communism. But there are no potatoes in Moscow. People travel to tiny villages to get food. Gorbachev's rival, Boris Yeltsin, decides communism is finished. Things get worse. Then they get much worse as the rational Communist plan runs out of control everywhere. But McDonald’s opens in Moscow. The army and the KGB realise their power is collapsing. They have to stop what is happening.

E03 Part Three - 1991
The empire strikes back. The hardliners bring tanks to Moscow. But power slips through their shaking hands. The Oligarchs publish their manifesto for the future. Money will replace all ideologies. It is safer. Yeltsin seizes power and abolishes communism. Parts of the old Russian empire, including Chechnya and Ukraine, demand their freedom too.

E04 Part Four - 1992 to 1994
Russia goes through the mirror. There is a new plan to create democracy overnight. Those in charge say it is rational. What it creates is a terrifying dream world where nothing is stable any more. And strange dream visions of Russia's imperial past start to rise up. While people cannot even afford food. But in Moscow women are taught to smile by American cosmetic companies.

E05 Part Five - 1993 to 1996
Russian society implodes and millions of Russian people fall into the abyss. Many turn to live underground or in the forests. The president attacks parliament with tanks saying he is saving democracy. The oligarchs move billions into offshore zones. Factories have no money. They pay their workers with the very things they make.

E06 Part Six - 1994 to 1998
The group around the president believe a war in Chechnya will save him. Others want the war to restore the glory of the Russian empire. The Oligarchs seize control of practically everything. In the upside down world gangsters become heroes for defending democracy.

E07 Part Seven - 1995 to 1999
A massive boom spreads through Moscow. It seems that capitalism has arrived. But suddenly the western bankers flee taking the money with them. The Oligarchs take control of a ruined society and search for a new president who they believe will make them safe. And who they can control. The Russian people turn against what they called “the curse of democracy”. Both communism and democracy are finished.

First broadcast: October 2022
Duration: 1 hour per episode

Edited by pellinore
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