Dear Comrades (2020) - full transcript

When the communist government raises food prices in 1962, the rebellious workers from the small industrial town of Novocherkassk go on strike. The massacre which then ensues is seen through the eyes of a devout party activist.

JUNE 1, 1962

Where are you going?

To the deli.

So I can get the rations
before there's too many people.

But it's still so early.

Yeah, you're right.

They'll clean out those
shelves in no time today.

I just hope there's no panic.

It's the talk of the town -
those food prices rising.

They'll take it all -
even salt and matches.

They raise milk prices...

Meat I get. But milk, kefir...


There's rumors around town.

But the Central Committee
instructions clearly say

that the change will result in higher
living standards in the nearest future.

- The nearest future...
- That's right.

Now I have a question.

In Stalin's times they lowered
the prices every year.

Now they're raising them.

Told the world we're about to live under
communism, but still, they raise prices.

So now I have a question.

You have a question?

You get the party rations at the deli?

- So what?
- On what grounds?

What does that have
to do with anything?

Because you get the rations
so you wouldn't have...

any questions. Got it?

When you don't know
what to say, you get angry.

Of course, I know.

The instructions say everything clearly.

Party's words are law.

You don't get to discuss them.

If someone forgot that,

I can always jog his memory.

Your bag is by the chair.

Why get so worked up?

No reason.

Your wife comes back tomorrow -
why don't you jog her memory.

What are you, jealous?


They're giving out kefir here, folks!

Folks, no need to jump,
no more matches available.

One person at a time!


Comrades, coming through,
coming through.

Coming through, comrades.

Step aside, please!

Lyuda, wait a second!
Here you go, little boy, take your juice.

Sure, you can wait a minute!

They only gave me 15 minutes
off at work! Nobody cares!

Lyuda, why so early today?

Too busy during the day, you know,
and grandpa wants his smokes.

- He'll kill me if I don't bring him some.
- This smoking kills people! So crazy!

People started coming at 7 in the morning,
all this talk about prices going up.

Alright, so... buckwheat...

There's all this panic of war famine -
here's your salami...

So why are you repeating this nonsense?

Latvian cheese, one kilo...
Now, canned goods.

I'm not repeating -
I'm just saying what I hear.

You're saying-things and then
they make a stir over there.

Gobies in tomato sauce,
sprats, and a can of cod.

OK, candy-- Bear in the North",
"Troyka" cigarettes -

"Troyka", here they are.

You got any other sweets?

Chocolate covered curd bars.

- Can I have a couple?
- Of course.

My Svetka loves these sweets...

I bet she could eat
only sweets all day.

Well, I can give you some more.

- Valya, you fine woman.
- Oh, it's nothing.

- Thank you so much.
- I can spare some for a good person!

Alright, salt, matches -
you should take some.

Give me-some matches -
grandpa smokes like crazy.

People have taken everything -
barely anything left! Here!

Lyuda, here I have for you

"Unicum", Hungarian liqueur.

The prosecutor wouldn't take it -
doctors won't allow, so I saved it for you.

Of course, have you seen him?
Been drinking way too much.

- His liver's about to give out, I think.
- Valya, you're so...

Listen, I went to the city and brought two
pairs of pantyhose. I'll give you one.

Thank you so much, thank you.

- Oh, Lyuda...
- Of course! Don't mention it.

- I'm so grateful!
- Alright, Valya, I have to go.

Wait, wait, I wanted to ask.

- What's going on?
- Where?

What are they saying, up there?
Are we going to starve?

- Are you a Soviet woman?
- I am.

- Exactly. Soviet Union is going to starve?
- That's what I'm saying.

- Do you hear yourself?
- It can't be!

These conversations are why this is
happening! Keep your mouth shut!

Well, I didn't know... That's all
boarded up, Lyuda, through the hall!

- You shut up about this!
- That's what people are like now...

Lyuda! Did you get the smokes?

They said on the radio today that
the prices went up - for kefir, milk...

They did.

Go smoke on the balcony,
unload the bag - I don't have time.

- Hi.
- Hi.

Got water on the floor -
the curtain goes in the tub.

You should start wearing a bra. Have
you seen your boobs? It's inappropriate.

Is it appropriate to spend the
night with someone else's man?

Shut your face!

- Mom, can I have some salami?
- Save it for tonight.

- A curd bar?
- Wear a bra - get a curd bar.

Sure, I'll wear it.

I'm so late for the bus!

There are talks
at the factory...

What kind of talks?

The rates are going down,
nothing to live off,

they cut the wages for the heavy
engineering plant by a third.

People will go talk to the higher
ups, try to get to the director.

They cut the wages...
In war times people worked 16 hours

to get a piece of bread
and nobody complained.

- I told you to patch up those socks!
- I forgot!

I'll do it tonight. Mom, honest!

I'm late for the assembly, gotta go!

- Do your dress up!
- I will.

- Go get some food.
- This won't end well.

How so?

The price increase.

These people on the Don river...
you never know what might happen.

You're only making it
worse, trying to

catch up to America
and go further.

You keep quiet!

This is called temporary hardship.

- Sure.
- And we shall persevere.

"Temporary hardship"...
Kennedy should drop a nuclear bomb on us,

all your so-called temporary
hardships would be over.

Please keep quiet,
the neighbours might hear.

- You like it?
- I don't know...

What about those cherries -
making jam?

Jam? No, just some
compote - can't make jam.

Turns out OK with white cherry. Where
did you get the sugar for the compote?

My neighbour works at the
confectionery factory, brought me some.

Anya, you know her?
She makes caramel candy.

Came from Moscow exhibition
center not long ago.

No, it's all wrong, wait.

Did you see how that actress
had it? In that new movie?

That was fine. Or do you
want one of those fringes?

She is an actress,
I'm going to work!

You should stop it...
wagging your tongue like that.

What, you want to
look like a croaker?

You should be pretty.

Yes, you're going to work. Does that
mean a woman shouldn't look good at work?

During Stalin's days they lowered
the prices even after the war.

You should turn that down.

My head is gonna explode - I'm
heading to work. And here is your radio!

Sensitization activities were
held among the teaching staff

of the Regional Institute.

The Collective of the Institute
understands that quick and aggressive

increase of agricultural output is
impossible without the measures

taken by the Central
Committee and the USSR Cabinet.

Yes, both students and teachers
welcome the price increase.

Is that right?

Because I have here a
homeland security report

saying that your students, Karelsky,
Borisova and Grigoryev declared

their discontent with
the necessity of such actions.

In production, steel plant technician
of the electric locomotive plant,

said, while playing
dominoes in his back yard,

that "in czarist days there was
meat a-plenty, and now there isn't".

As well as other examples.

How is the Party's address to the
people clarification going, comrade Syomina?

Clarification is ongoing,
everything is according to the plan.

Here's comrade Yeremin, chairman of the
factory workers committee,

held clarification activities.

- Yes.
- We have reports, here's the protocol.

Factory worker, comrade Lepilov, said
"The Party and the Government

continuously and incessantly work
for the benefit of the Soviet people,

they're doing everything to provide
a better life for us,

these hardships are temporary,
and we are ready to work through them,

This is the opinion of the majority.

- That's good.
- There were, however, questions:

"Was it, perhaps, a mistake to forbid
holding cattle in towns for personal use?"

But I think I will go down there
today, we'll hold a meeting at 3,

we will go over this issue together.

Comrade Semashkin will go to the plant,

gather up the Young Communists.

- Yes, I'm going straight there after this.
- Wonderful.

So the plan is progressing.

What's that?

- Is that at the plant?
- No, that's farther away.

Maybe a train?

A train? A train...

Yes. Loginov here.


They've stopped working at the
Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant.

Disturbances? The workers are striking?

Yes, Comrade Basov,
yes, I am aware, just got a report.

Yes, we're taking measures.
Absolutely, we're waiting.

Regional Committee
Secretary is on the way.

They know everything
in Moscow already.

We'll wait for him and
then go to the plant.

How is this possible?

KGB headquarters...

Do you hear what I'm saying?
Nobody is to leave the Institute,

take all of their record books...

How are you holding them down?
How should I know?

Let them all pass exam
in political economy.

So, the Regional Committee
Secretary is on his way,

he'll be here any minute now.

Hey, did you see how angry he was?

Didn't want to talk,
didn't even get out of his car.

Holy cow, railway services are
interrupted, this is a state level event!

I'm screwed -

I'll get expelled from the Party and sent
off to a village as a school principal.

Comrade Loginov, how is this on us?

They answer to the Regional Committee
and directly to Basov!

So then you tell that to Basov!

You know, many heads will roll.
They can pin it all on us.

Do you know what your tomorrow holds?
Membership card revoked,

and you're a heard
technician far off in the plains.

Crime, this is a crime.

People are ignorant,
don't understand a thing.

Surrounded by the pardoned!

They are the ones who
know what to propagate.

We're the ones who missed it,
didn't report it, didn't clarify far enough.

It's our fault, we have to answer for it.

- So you should answer for it!
- So I will!

Sure, so you can work as a
paramedic someplace if you're lucky.

And I will! Stop trying to scare me!

I did report! I did clarify!

You clarified?

How many times did I say, we should
go to the building zone, to the plant?

What's going on over there?

Couldn't make it to the building zone,
everywhere else - as specified.

As specified! We all know what
kind of things you have specified!

Around cafes with
those young communist girls!

You're a madwoman!

Move aside, people! Move aside for
the Regional Committee Secretary!


Move aside for the Regional
Committee Secretary! Make way!

Move aside! Move aside! Give way!

Keep calm!

Move aside for the
Regional Committee Secretary!

Keep calm! Move aside!
Move aside! Give way!

Turn this damn siren off!

The workers locked themselves
inside, won't let us turn it off.

Because you are a moron!

Moron! The workers...

A bunch of hooligans,
that's who they are!

You know, Khruschev called me?

Getting the Central
Committee Executives together!

- Did you carry out the sensitization activities?
- I did.

The fuck you did!
Why is this happening?

Factory of national standing
has workers on strike!

A fucking strike in our
socialist community!

How is this possible?

Comrade Basov,

there are people out there,
you should talk to them.

Factory management
lowered their rates yesterday.

- Rates?
- Had the audacity.



So what am I supposed
to tell them now?

Comrade Basov,
calm them down, you can do it.

Let's tell them we're
talking to their management.

We can't play down to these hooligans!

Then maybe we can tell
them we'll look over those rates?

Don't you tell me how to talk to them!

Comrades! I have a directive issued by
the Central Committee, the Party

and the Cabinet Council of the USSR on
the livestock products price increase.

This increase will allow
for the imminent abundance

of these products in
stores and cafeterias!

Comrades, we live in a wonderful time...

Calm yourselves, comrades...

Soviet people led by the Communist
party of the Soviet State...

you should get out of here!

We should get the fucking army!

Comrade Basov, you should
evacuate to an enclosed space.

Move! I'll show them a strike!

Hello! Regional Committee
Secretary Basov...

What? Where?
Get him on the line!

So you still want to talk
to these... people?

They won't listen to anyone now.
Are they all drunk down there?

I'm a member of the Military Council
of the North Caucasus District!

I want troops in Novocherkassk!

Cavalry carriers! Radio officers!

Put the 505 regiment on alert!

Comrades, quick! Get out to the hallway!
We go deep inside the building!

Get me into the city!

- Comrade Secretary, it is impossible...
- What is impossible?

The factory building is
surrounded by people.

- Back entrance!
- There is no back entrance...

Fuck. Where are your people?

They can't get out
of the courtyard!

They sent 50 soldiers
but they can't get inside!

People have gone nuts -
flipped over my vehicle!

So what are you saying?
We can't get out?

- Blocked off?
- Looks like it, Comrade Secretary.

Hurry up! Faster, please!

Move on!

Follow me!

This was at 11,
people gathered in the square.

They want someone from the
management to explain to them how

to live now that the prices went up,
but the rates went down.

- Who's this?
- Identified as cleaning staff.

Primary school education, three children.

One is currently in a children's home
due to poverty, husband dead...

She yelled out into the crowd:
"Fat slobs, death to the communists!"

- Who's this?
- Unidentified, these two are my people.

Here they've stopped the train.

Broke off the picket fence,
threw it on the rails.

Hooligans breaking the windows of
the train car. There are people inside.

- We need to identify the instigators.
- There's over 4000 of them out there.

There're always instigators.

Look at this one, so loud. Instigator.

Identify him, which workshop he
works at, his address and the like.

Might need to arrest him.

- Got it?
- Yes, sir!

They noticed our man taking photos, beat
him, tore his shirt off and threw him out.

Gotta be more careful. Anything else?

They're planning to send delegations
to other factories, ask that they join.

Well, that's too much...

There's troops out there,
nobody is letting them through...

Although - have them on the
lookout, just in case.

So that guy is beaten up, you're here...

Who else is still out there?
Two more people?

Yes, yes.

Higher ups here from Moscow,
all proceed to the head office.

- So, who came?
- He didn't say, looked like First Deputy.

- Really? What would he be doing here?
- Beast.

- Come on...
- Beast, I'm telling you.



Fucked up?

- Fucked up!
- We were writing.

We sent morale reports over every day!

You were writing?


You fucked up!

Should have prevented it,
not write about it.

Listen. The situation is critical.

Nikita Khruschev has personally
ordered that the Government Committee

be sent to Novocherkassk.
In two hours the heads are expected,

comrades Kozlov and Mikoyan.


Upon arrival, the Committee
heads down here, to Novocherkassk.

Accompanied by the KGB and MIA officials,

and the KGB security group.

Altogether around fifty people.

Where will they be stationed?

With him! With the division
of the Northern Caucasus District.

Yes, sir! With us,
we're making preparations.

Got a high fence, made of stone,
everything is secured, and facilities.

Command point is
set up in the gym.

We put the red carpets already.

- Communications?
- Government high frequency

will be set up by 5 p.m.,
operators are working on it.

Where is it?


Second question.
What about the army?

Orders made by the Minister
of Defense are executed.

On area commander Pliyev's
orders 200 students of

the Military school have arrived.

Another division is on alert.

Gunnery school students on alert,
500 people.

General is leaving imminently,
arriving in Novocherkassk by 5 p.m.



They don't have munitions.


Why mobilize the army if
they don't have munitions?

Area commander general
Pliyev's orders -

munitions are not
to be given out.

Last name?

Colonel Fedorenko!

Colonel Fedorenko,

on behalf of the
Government Committee,

I order you to give out
munitions immediately.


Yes, sir!

Next up.
Nikita Khruschev is appalled that

the Regional Committee Secretary
Basov is blocked off at the factory

and is unable to leave the premises.

Our people tried but the crowd
wouldn't let them inside the building.

- Soldiers tried as well...
- Soldiers?!

Soldiers without munitions are no soldiers!


I'll send my people.

At least they are fully armed.

Might as well die out here...

Some kind of Bangladesh!

It is unsuitable, comrade regional
Committee Secretary. We have to wait.

How long am I supposed
to wait, huh? Well?

- Help is on the way.
- What have you done for it to happen?

What? I've had it up to here...

- It is happening.
- Happening...

Here to evacuate political workers.

Who is the Regional Committee
Secretary comrade Basov?

Colonel Geraschenko,
KGB special ops!

Where have you been
this whole goddamn time?

We've been here since the morning!

Comrade Basov, getting onto
the premises is not an easy task!

The operation is dangerous,
we should hurry!

Please, follow us,
everything is under control.

It will be a bit crammed and smelly.

Getting dirty is unavoidable.
Careful, you might slip.

You stay here! They are your
workers, you figure it out!

Comrade Basov!
I didn't...

You were told to move along!

It's your factory, friend!
You said there was no back entrance!

Please, don't hold up the line.

- Get in!
- Careful.

Mind your head.

On the left, forward march!

May I, comrade Kozlov!

So, comrades,

does anyone have anything
of substance to contribute?

OK then, listen.

No information gets
out of this city.

What measures are
being taken for this?

Radio interferences
have been set up,

five vehicles along
the perimeter.

Locators are searching
and tapping into everything.

All phone calls are monitored,
all letters are read.

Checkpoints instituted come
nighttime - a fly wouldn't get out.

I have questions for the comrades
responsible for emergency prevention.

What about the Ministry of Interior?

Regiment 505 is in the city to
institute protection of property -

KGB Directorate and the city police
station, the prison, the bank,

post office, City Council and the
Party Committee buildings.

As well as the pumping point,
gas-distributing station,

electrical substation
all under surveillance.

May I, comrade Kozlov?

Comrade Basov, we will have a separate
conversation with you, you may sit down.

This KGB report says that
half of the town are criminals

who have served their time in prison!

What are the measures taken
to neutralize the crime figures?

Based on the collected data,

all local enterprises
have extremely

high personnel turnover rate.

Sloppiness on the part of
the management has lead to

at least one third of factory workers
being recently released criminals.

Allow me...

One needs to remember
that the Don River region

and the Novocherkassk District specifically

have historically been
high risk zones,

centers of counter-revolutionary
cossack activity,

which have always had
anti-Soviet tendencies.

I'm telling you, it's the agitators!
"Voice of America"! CIA!

Let me proceed...

But we should be patient,

I wouldn't create a
strained atmosphere!

We should figure everything out, go deep...

Tomorrow, when everything
will have died down,

we should talk to the people.

No use in talking!
Arrest them all!

Who said that?

- Last name!
- Syomina.

Novocherkassk City Committee.
Production sector.

Comrades, we must not forget that
after the 20th Party Congress

former political criminals and
the dispossessed came back to town.

These people are extremely angry
at the Soviet Government,

you never know what they might do...

Arrest them and take them to court,
to the full extent of the law.

Instigators should
get extreme penalty.

The locals think differently,

comrade Mikoyan,

I would even say,
radically differently!

Sit down, comrade Syomina.

Write your arguments down
and hand them to me personally.

Did you have to say something?
What is your problem?

I don't know,
you should have stopped me!


general Pliyev,

you heard the orders of
the Minister of Defense.

The shenanigans and the gangster
tricks of the hooligans must be stopped.

Army units should prevent the
protest from going into the city.

In case anything happens, open fire.

Dear members of the Committee,

I ordered that
the munitions were not given out.

According to the Constitution, the Army
is not to open gunfire on the people.

General Pliyev,

do you remember 1956 in Budapest,

when fascists hung
and skinned communists?

I do.

"Voice of America" also called
these dirtbags "people".

Doesn't it seem strange that your
opinion is remarkably close

to that of an enemy radio station?

Comrade Secretary,
the goal of the Army is

to protect the country
from outside enemies.

General Pliyev,

as the Head of the
Government Committee,

I order you to pass out
munitions to your soldiers!

Execute immediately!

Comrade Syomina is right -

these hooligans should not
be allowed to enter the city.

If the unrest at the factory continues,
arrests will need to be made.

Above all else -

we are not to allow any
information to leave city limits,

let alone find its way abroad!

All roads in and out of the
city need to be shut off

for the next few days.

Complete blockade,
is that clear?

When did they let you go?

At 9.

People didn't want to leave,

but they sent in soldiers
and we got pushed out.

Region Committee Secretary came...

I know, I was there.

Where? At the factory?

The whole City Committee was there.

I didn't see you...

There were cars though,
no space to go around!

The Secretary spoke,
but the people just got angry.

We decided we'll speak
out in an organized manner.

What do you mean, speak out?

We'll go to the City Committee.

You're not going anywhere!

The factory is going,
everyone in our lab, so I'm going too!

- You stay!
- No, I won't!

We live in democracy.
Freedom of assembly and protest!

Sure, protest.
I've seen this protest of yours.

Drunkards, hooligans!

Smell like vodka!

Maybe someone did have a drink,
but they're just workers!


Workers should work!

These people are drunks, alcoholics!

I have a passport
and constitutional rights!

You're not going anywhere I said!

Did you see how
many soldiers are in town!

Are you scared of our soldiers?

Soviet soldiers would
never shoot at the people.

Why are the people from Moscow here?

Khruschev must have sent them himself!


Khruschev threw Stalin out of the
Mausoleum and started the whole thing.

That's right!

A dictator shouldn't
be next to Lenin!

He executed so many innocent people!

What do you know about Stalin...

I know it all! Comrade Khruschev
told the whole truth about Stalin!

The 20th Party Congress
unearthed the truth!

Khruschev... why didn't he say
anything when Stalin was alive?

Why didn't any of them?

The second he died
they drag him!

They were saving their necks!

They were afraid,
they were all afraid of Stalin!

You too, aren't you?

- Where are you going?
- Get off me!

You come back right now!

How did this happen?

We fought in Stalin's name every day,

now they're walking all over his name!

It all made sense then -

who's an enemy and
who's one of ours...

She is one of ours.
But now nothing makes sense...

Had Stalin been around,
we'd already live under communism!

We would, right?!

Why are you quiet?!

I'd rather not see any of it.

I'm glad I'll soon be dead.

Let it all burn.

You too?!

Grandpa, what are you doing?
Where's this from?

From the chest.

Have you gone mad?

They can put you in
prison for those stripes!

You'll bury me in this.

- What's that?
- Kazan Mother of God.

Your great grandfather

blessed my father's
wedding with it.

Then your grandfather used
it to bless your mother and me.

It's OK - I'll die and
then you can get rid of it.

Put it in my coffin.

JUNE 2, 1962


The Palace of Pioneers and Schoolchildren
has had its Grand Opening.

A dear guest, Nikita Khrushchev,
came to visit the kids.

Does he not know what's going on here?

He should have asked you, right?

Dad, it's me.
Did Svetka come around?

She did.
Took some sandwiches and left.

You sit down, sit.

Alright, so a crowd of about 3000
people is moving towards the city.

They have portraits of
Lenin and red flags.

They want to talk to
the people from Moscow.

Looks like they're going to the
City Committee, that would be us.

Who's going to let them through!
There're tanks and soldiers!

I think so too.

But they're being joined
by workers from other factories.

So if the crowd grows to five-six
thousand, then I'm not so sure.

What about the higher ups?
Comrades from Moscow?

What about them?

I called - they won't pick up.

They're in a meeting, perhaps.

The crowd is over five thousand people.
They're getting over the tanks easily,

soldiers seem to even be helping them.

So we have thirty minutes.


Who is going to tell us what to
do, comrade Loginov?

Shut up.

Novocherkassk City Committee, Loginov.
Can I speak to comrade Basov?

He's not in? Alright.

Basov is at the armored division, with
Kozlov and other Government people.

The people are here.

Yes! Awaiting orders.

What the hell are you talking about!
Go to the people, go to them!

To the people, that's right!

Shut up!

It's not us they need!
What are we going to tell them?

That the Moscow people
would rather see them dead?!

They have Lenin! They're taking
Lenin against the Soviet state!


The people are about to enter the building!

We won't be able to hold them off
for much longer. Get out of here!

Let's go!

How are we getting out?

Through the second floor window,
down the fire escape.

- That's very high up!
- Don't worry, I'll help you.

Comrade, where are you going?


Do you copy? I'm here.

Do you copy?
Awaiting orders.

Do you copy? I'm here.

Do you copy? Cuckoo is here.

What are you doing here?
Get out immediately!

Right now!

What are you doing here? Leave, now!
They're in the building!

Faster, now!

Quiet! Let me talk!

...and nobody wants to explain themselves!

The Red Army commanders put the Soviet
State up there, they should explain!

That's right!

Look what they're eating here!
Cognac, Hungarian salami!

You're leaving, now!

What's happening! Folks, they have spies!
Get out of here!

Clear the space immediately!

Leave the square right now!

Or I call for gunfire!

Get your people out of here.
As soon as you hear the first shot...

No, right now.
Leave against that wall.

- But they only have blanks!
- Don't be smart, get them out.

So what are we doing?

We're fucking useless here!

Comrades from the Party
didn't come here for nothing!

Mikoyan, Kozlov.

They'll sort everything out.

Maybe we try to get through
to the higher ups again?

Load them up!

On your mark!


Where are you going?

- Kolya? Where is Kolya?
- I don't know.

A girl... Svetka!

Radio broadcast for workers


Everything will be OK...

Close the door. Close the door!

Where are you going?

Who shot?

Who shot?

General, sir!

There were no orders. Who shot?

We didn't shoot at the people!
Just fired in the air!

What's with the bodies then, dead bodies!

Everyone goes on the mat!

Is Svetka home?

Did she call?

Go inside and take that off!

- Do you have Svetka?
- No.

- Didn't she spend the night?
- She did, and then left.

Let me in!
I need to talk to Tamarka!

Tamarka is not here.

- Tamarka?
- No. Brother.

Take him to the hospital.

KGB is everywhere!
They'll take him in for ten years!

Sveta! Svetka!

Tamarka! You and Svetka
were together, where is she?

I don't know.

We were standing there and
then she ran away... Shots...

Two idiots, prancing around
with those bandits, hooligans!

- Lyuda, you won't snitch, will you?
- Wash the stairs, you idiot!


Let me in! City Committee!

- Let us in!
- Don't touch me!

Let me through!

Let me through!

They won't let me in!

- Did you go to the morgue?
- Where's the morgue?

Turn right at the corner,
then turn again. There're soldiers...

Stop right here! The doctor
is busy, you have to wait!

Miss, I told you.
The doctor is busy.

- Please let me in.
- He'll come out now, wait!

You have a cigarette?

No, I don't.

He's about to finish and
come out for a smoke.

Wait here.

Girls, who's next?

- Sit down.
- Nadezhda Konovalova.

- Patronymic?
- Mikhailovna.

Alright, Nadezhda Mikhailovna.
I, so and so,

employed at such and such organization,

am bound to not disclose in any form
to any person any information about the

classified events,
occurred on June 1-2 in Novocherkassk.

I am informed that in the event
of this information being disclosed,

I'll be punished under criminal law,
including the possibility of death penalty.

Sign it and date it.

Here - first and last name, patronymic.
Here - date and signature.

What am I not to disclose?

Remember - nothing happened!

No matter who asks -
"I don't know anything!"


Classified events!

Who are these persons I could tell?

Were you...

in the crowd at the square?

Yes, I was.

Stirring things up?

Well, that's a whole other case.

Don't complain now.

Quiet, no talking.
You're coming with us.


Doctor, I need to talk to you.

My daughter... my girl.
I can't find her.

- How old is she?
- Eighteen.

She's this tall, has braids
with blue ribbons in them.

Can I come in and look?


Let's go in.



That's good,
there're no more girls here.

Two women, the rest are men.


Is there a way to get to
the hospital from here?

Unauthorized entry is not permitted..

Don't hold me up, I need a smoke.

- Where's Faina?
- Over there.

- Faina, let me go see the wounded.
- Are you crazy?

I can't find Svetka.
Maybe she's in there?

- How did you get in here?
- Next!

How did you get in here?
You're coming with me.

What are you talking about?

There are no
wounded people here.

People are not allowed in the
hospital, we're under quarantine.

Are you crazy?

I signed a pledge of secrecy!


Svetka isn't here,
I haven't seen her.

If I find something
out - don't call me.

I'll call you myself from
a payphone or I'll come see you.

I hope she doesn't show up here.
Those who do, don't ever come back home.

Have you seen them?

People are all hiding at home,
afraid to get medical help.

- Next.
- Go already!

General, sir. I've been notified
the blood doesn't wash off the square.

It's too hot, it boiled into the asphalt.

Then pour new asphalt on it.
The whole square. Immediately.

Got it.


Novocherkassk chapter of KGB.

Your daughter, Svetlana Syomina?


May I speak with her?

And where is she?

You must be Lyudmila Syomina?


So, you're telling me
your daughter isn't home?

No, she isn't.

You're head of sector
at the Party City Committee?


You may go.

Do you think I can
see her passport?

Of course, let me find it.

- Grandpa is joking around.
- That's fine.

Something wrong?

Everything is fine.

Want a drink?

No, thank you.

On the job?

Did you go to the "Azov"
sanatorium last summer?

Yes, I did.

Me too! I sang in the choir,
at the talent show.

Really? Can't remember.

So, you don't know where she is?

Do you think she's not hurt?

Hasn't been identified among the wounded.

I went all around town, looked
everywhere. Can't find her.

Can I take a look at her
table, textbooks and such?

I have a search warrant, here.

Comrade Syomina,
a decree has been issued,

all information about
human casualties

as a result of events
in Novocherkassk

is classified.

Have you signed a
pledge of secrecy?


Okay. You'll get a chance to do it
tomorrow at the City Committee.

Maybe she's hiding somewhere?

What's her offense?

The court will decide.

I think, instigators get
three years and more.

Let her show up,
I'll bring her in myself.

The State will set her straight.

I'll bring her in, do you believe me?

Of course,

I believe you.

If she shows up, let us know.


comrade Syomina,
and I'm saying this off the record,

there are criminals and then

there are ignorant
victims of instigation.

They won't lock up
the whole factory, will they?

Alright, I need to make
a few more house calls.


Attention! Due to certain
events, the city is under curfew

from 9 p.m. till 6 a.m.

Being outside is permitted only to
persons with specific authorization,

our officers have been
granted license to open fire.

Please, don't leave your homes.

Since when are you praying?

Sit down,

I want to read you something.

Where is it?

"...Uncle Timofey
got killed too.

They killed a lot of people,

threw them naked on the carts.
Every which way.

Someone's arms or legs
would reach the ground.

Uncle Timofey's legs shot straight up.
What a disgrace.

I went to school,

but they told me

I couldn't get
the Soviet State education,

because my father was against them.

So I don't go there often now.

But it doesn't bother me,

since it's all about propaganda
and blasphemy at school.

People came in,

took our last corn,

fined us.

Mom says we'll die of hunger,

since this isn't the first
time this has happened,

not just here, in our village,

but everywhere."

This is Nastyusha,

my niece,

so, your cousin.

This was in 1922 or 1923.

As soon as I got the letter,

I went down there,
to our village.

I was late.

They were already dead

and thrown in that ditch.

Both naked.

Apparently got raped first

and then killed.

Was there another way?
Tell me, was there another way?

Horrible things were happening

in the Don region.

The kulaks, the whites.

And cossacks went all brutal.

What was to be done?

Sholokhov wrote about it,
you should read his novel.

If Sholokhov of yours
had written the truth,

nobody would have
known he ever existed.

They'd send him away somewhere,
or even execute along with the others.

Wow, I'm so scared!

Can't scare me!

I was in the lines, I saw it all.

I know, I know, what are
you going to say?

You've seen a lot, that's true.

I don't think you've
seen anything like this.

In a village,

one cossack, he was very old,

called our commissioner
a barbaric person.

So they cut his tongue out,

nailed it to his chin

and took him around
the village, until he died.

So I'm telling you, my daughter,

there's no God in the Don region.

And this needs to be discussed.

Better give me some vodka!

This was supposed to
be for a celebration!

I don't have any vodka.

This isn't serious.

Let's drink to the dead.


Come on!

- I don't have anything!
- Keep walking!

I never went there! I didn't go!

Stop or I will shoot!

Stop or I will shoot!



They killed him!
You bastards!

Hands up!


Oh comrade, my comrade,
protect your Motherland at all costs

both in the fields and on the lines.

The great Soviet people is behind you...

Everything will be ready for
tomorrow night, General, sir.

The civil engineering
school orchestra,

got a hundred people from
the neighbourhood watch for the dance,

the Young Communist
Organizations are notified.

Dancing will be allowed till
3 in the morning!

We hope the townspeople
will come as well.


Captain, have you ever executed
an extreme penalty sentence,

or have you seen it happen?

No, General, sir.

I have.

Many times.

You know how it's done?

Set them on the edge of the ditch and
pull a sack over the head - that's easy.

But tie their hands - that's the stuff!

You take a hemp rope,

a meter-twenty per person.

You put their hands
together facing outward,

loop them twice,

both ends of the rope go between
the hands, then pull it together again.

Each hand gets its own loop.

I bet I could tie one now
with my eyes closed.

General, sir, why are you telling me this?

I mean, these workers

have a point.

We live in socialism, correct?

They're only trying to protect
their constitutional rights.

I would have snapped too.

I know, you must be thinking,

"He's either bluffing

or mental".

I don't think that.

You should.

The fact that we live in
socialism is also classified.

JUNE 3, 1962



You may pass.

Text on the poster
DANCING tonight at 7p.m.

You may pass.


- Last name?
- Syomina.

Proceed to room 24. Next!

Please, read this.

Do you understand that the events of
June 1-2 are classified information?

- Yes, I do.
- In case of disclosure,

you'll be punished
under criminal law,

including extreme penalty.
If this is clear, sign and date here.

I need to tell you something.

Has your daughter come around?

No... She's not at the hospital either.

Your people didn't find her?

There were only 8
bodies at the morgue,

but I saw much more than that.

I saw them thrown in the back of a truck.

After the meeting I'm
going to the morgue again.

Don't go to the morgue.

What do you know?

You know something!

There really were more bodies.

But they are not and
will not be at the morgue.

Policemen from different
districts were called in,

they took the bodies out of town

and buried them in various places.

- Where?
- Why do you need to know?

Where? I will go!

Maybe she's still hiding in town.

Maybe she is. But I will still go!

Where will you go?

The town is blocked off,
a fly can't get out!

Don't you understand, I have to go!

The higher ups are running late.

Apparently there's a conflict
with the Army. A scandal.

The Minister of defense got reprimanded
for soldiers killing so many people.

They took it off Khruschev
and pinned it to the Army.

It wasn't the Army who shot them.

How do you know?


From the roofs of our building and
one of Young Communist Committee.

Snipers... That would be the 9th.

- The 9th?
- The 9th Chief KGB Directorate tasked

with protecting the highest officials.

Half the political bureau is
here, in Novocherkassk.

Can you imagine how many
KGB agents are in town?

KGB killed all these people
and the Army is to blame!

That's right.

Thank the heavens
it's not our problem.

We have victims of our own.
Give me the report.

What report?

Did you forget? You said it yourself
yesterday, "execute them" and such.

Kozlov, Central Committee Secretary,
told you to write him a report.

His office called me this morning.
He wants you to speak on your arguments!

- Did you really forget?
- I didn't think I had to write it!

Let's go before they get here.

- Ever found Svetka?
- No.

Hiding out somewhere with her friends.

That's good, she'll sit this out.

You're right.

She's not at the morgue so she's hiding.
I'll find her later.

I have to leave the Party.

It's my own fault.
Couldn't control my own daughter!

How did you put it -
I'll be a paramedic in the far off plains.

I'll atone for my guilt.
I'll be of service to my country!

They will kick off quite a lot.

But Kozlov noticed you.
If you make it right,

they'll forgive Svetka,
among other things.

Come on, write.

What am I writing?

"Dear Comrades!"

Dear Comrades...

I wrote it, now what?

"Our Party Organization is

in strong support of the measures
against the hooligan figures..."

- Do you have it?
- Give me a second.

And then, in the end.

"I'm talking on behalf of everybody,
that the strict measures

mentioned in the report by comrade Kozlov
in regards to the instigators

be executed in the
shortest possible time.

No mercy to those who

break the laws

of the Socialist..."

I need to write
about poor sensitization work!

They'll say it before you can!

You need to strike the right note
with the higher ups. Write faster.

This means they're on their way.

Don't worry.

Don't forget, you speak after
comrade Ovodov. I'm going over there.

...these were hooligans who
were acting out at the factory.

A great deal's been said
about this factory.

Why didn't we take any measures?

We did a poor job, but someone -
someone did the job well!

I will be honest with you -

this gathering didn't
have a single fine worker.

They come to me, say -
stop your work! Why should I?

They say, we're on strike.

I say, you know what, you should
leave now, because if you don't,

I blow you all up in 5!

You all, myself and the factory!

So these heroes ran so fast
you could hardly see them anymore.

Here, comrades, we should
have more workers like this one!

I should say that our workers always
have, are and always will work

to bring prosperity to our country,
dear comrades!

Now a word from Comrade Ovodov, professor
at the Engineering Meliorative Institute!

Oh God! God, please forgive me.

Oh dear God, please let her live...
let her live, please, God.

Lyuda, are you in there?

Come out, Lyuda!

You're up next! Lyuda, come out!

I'm begging you, please, come out!

How will we find them?

We'll go to the District
Officer of Zadonsky village.

He buried them,
he knows which cemetery.

Do you have her photograph?

- Here.
- Good.

Closed off here as well.

Leaving the city is not allowed.

- Take the car away.
- Are you not seeing the plates?

I have orders.

What's wrong?

Nothing special.

Come with me.

What's wrong with you, lieutenant.
You saw my badge -

Committee for State Security!

So people at the KGB don't know they
need a special permit to exit the city?

Please, come with me.

You too.

Wait here.

What now?


These boots hate our guts.

What happens now?

If they call my management -

nothing good happens.
We are both done.

You understand that we're attempting
an unsanctioned exit of the city.

I mean, this isn't good at all.
A conflict is unavoidable.

Let's say they found...

anti-Soviet forces in
a neighboring village.

You had to leave immediately,
no time to issue a permit.

That's nonsense!

It's better to tell the truth:
your daughter is missing,

we're going to a cemetery
to find and identify her.

He's a boot,
but he might be a decent person.

Or not.


Got guns?


Hand it over!

On what grounds?
Lieutenant, don't cross the line!

Do I have to search you now?
Get up, face the wall!

Hand over the gun!

Follow me.

Put your hands on the wall.

Spread your feet.

Let's go.

- What did you tell them?
- Nothing, I didn't have to.

Turns out they're decent people.
Let us go just like that.

Just like that?

The Army has some fine people too.

They just don't like us very much.

Can't blame them.

Oh comrade, my comrade,
protect your Motherland at all costs

both in the fields and on the lines...

I don't know what this is,
stuck in my head for some reason.

Oh comrade, my comrade,
protect your Motherland at all costs

both in the fields and on the lines...

What is this?

It's from the "Spring" movie,
music by Dunayevsky!


Lead District Officer Gusev?


Get dressed.

Follow me, this won't take long.

Won't take long.


- Where are you taking me to?
- To the cemetery.

To identify a body.

I don't know anything.

- Did you go get bodies in the city?
- I don't know anything.

You'll tell us where they were buried.

I don't know anything!
I don't know anything!

You idiot!
Have you seen my badge?

I'm with the authorities, you can tell me!

- I don't know anything.
- Do you have kids?

Of course, he does!

You'll tell me everything now!

Wait! You have to understand,
my daughter is missing.

I don't know where she is.
Maybe she's over there.

I swore secrecy!

We all did. So we all get executed
if someone finds out.

But we're not telling anyone,
nobody gets hurt, do you understand?

- Did you bury the bodies?
- Yes! Now I'm as good as dead!

Nobody is getting executed!

I won't tell anyone. Spill it.

Got the bodies on receipt.

Eight of them.
Brought them in and buried them.

Put them in plastic
and buried them.

- Where?
- Our local cemetery.

Just don't tell anybody!

You'll show us the graves.

They are other people's graves.
That's where we put them.

- What do you mean, other people's?
- Other people's.

Yes, just don't tell anyone.

We chose four that looked
abandoned, not even a fence,

since relatives
don't come visit -

dug them up,

put the bodies in plastic
on top of the coffins.

- Am I dead now?
- Did you do the digging?

- Did you dig?
- I... yes, I did!

Why four graves?
You said you had eight bodies.

Well... we put one body where the
earth was tough, two or three in others...

I will get executed now.


We aren't telling anybody. Let's go.

Here, I think.

Yes, here.

You buried them yourself!
You should remember!

Was there a girl?

A girl with braids in her hair?

Blue ribbons?

- Yes, there was one.
- This one?


Yes, she was here.

Look closely!
Are you sure it was her?


Yes, I'm sure. The blue ribbons.

Just don't tell anybody.
Buried her here.

The grave wasn't deep, I held her by the
feet, they were poking out of the plastic.

Hole in the sock, toes poking through.

Show us the grave.

We dug in the night...




We buried them at night...

Let me think.

This one. This one!

- You sure?
- Yes, sure.

Lyuda. Lyuda!

Let me go!

Show me the toes!
Where are the toes?

Captain, sir,
just don't tell anyone, okay?

There's a bottle in the
glove compartment. Want some?

- There're no glasses though.
- That's alright.

- Want more?
- No.

Oh comrade, my comrade,

protect your Motherland at all costs

both in the fields and on the lines.

The great Soviet people is behind you.

They walk towards their ultimate
goal through thick and thin

in the name of freedom.

How does it start?

Bright sun is coming up,
dew glistening on the grass...

The fields and forests
are blooming all around.

My beloved country,
one and only in the whole world

invincible, my Soviet country!

It was you, sons of bitches,
you shot at the people from the roofs!

Fucking KGB... And then you
go and pin it on the Army.

You don't just move
papers around, you fucks.

Want some advice?


Watch your mouth,
you're already in trouble.

Svetka was born in 1944.

I was a nurse at the front,
since the very beginning of the war.

Met my true love in 1943 by the
city of Kursk, my one and only.

He was killed there in August, too.

Invalided out...

due to the pregnancy.
Had Svetka.

He was a hero, really was.


A hero, I say!

Listen, he was a Hero of the Soviet Union.

He had a wife
in the city of Kislovodsk.

What am I supposed to believe in,
if not communism?

Blow everything up to hell.

Blow it all up.

And then start again.


my hands look like a miner's.

How is it possible?
How is this possible?

I don't understand!

Other people's graves!

No name, no nothing! Nothing!

No coffins even, how...

Why, I don't understand, why hide them?

They hid them! Why?!

These people have
to be forgotten.

Shouldn't even be
talking about this.

Why? How is it... Why?

Oh, so it's a crime
that they shot people!

How to forget?
How am I supposed to forget this?

How can I come visit her?

Where is she?
How will I know where to go?

Can't remember, can't talk about it.
That's what the pledge of secrecy is for.

But how? Why?

That's just not right!

They are our own... how is that OK?!


It is...

Wish Stalin could come back.

We can't do it without him.

We won't make it.



Thank you.

Will I see you again?

Sure, I'm not going anywhere.
This is a small town.


Here, Svetka's passport. If anything
happens, you call me right away.

Got it? I'll fix everything.

Do you believe me?

What are you doing?

It belongs to Svetka!

What are you doing here?

Counting the money.

- Svetka?
- Yes.


On the roof.

No, no, no, no.

Oh, God. Oh, God, she's alive.

Alive! I knew it, God...

God, she's alive!

Mom, mom, it's me. Are you OK?

It's alright, it's alright.

Why couldn't you call?

What if the phone was tapped!
I'd let you down, I'd let Tamarka down...

You were hiding at Tamarka's?

What happens now?
Shall I go to prison?

Will they take me to the KGB?

No, they won't,
you're not going anywhere.

They aren't taking you!
They aren't!

- You'll go plow the virgin lands.
- They're patrolling everywhere,

grandpa can't even
find my passport...

It's right here, your passport!

We can make it work!
I have a person who can help...


How? How is that possible?

I don't get it!

Calm down, quiet.

I don't get it! Tell me!

It's OK, my daughter! It's OK!

She's alive, God! She's alive!

It's OK, my daughter!

We will be better.

We shall better ourselves.

We shall be better.