Cover Osteuropa 8-9/2011

In Osteuropa 8-9/2011

“Leningrad’s Heroic Deed”
The Blockade in Russian Film

Eva Binder

Deutsche Fassung


The films about the Leningrad Blockade are a reflection of memory culture. In the postwar era, a narrative about the heroic defence of the city dominated. Films served political mobilisation. During the thaw, it was possible to tell individual stories. Under Brezhnev, memory of the war was standardised and sacralised. Only thereafter did ideologically critical films make an issue of the hunger, suffering, and mass death. Going into the 1980s, films were still being produced about the blockade, among them monumental war epics and children’s films. In today’s Russia, memory of the blockade is kept alive by the genre of documentary film. The scope ranges from television infotainment to artistically excellent documentary films. At the core of the narratives are the harrowing pictures from the winter of 1941-42.

(Osteuropa 8-9/2011, pp. 300–322)