russian partisans

Soviet female partisan fighters in 1944 in Crimea. One of my relatives, who passed away few years ago, was a partisan and later after the war she was awarded with a medal. Sadly, she, just like thousands of other former partisans in Crimea, was forgotten by the government after fall of USSR and lived a very poor live. But, she always was very happy, cooked food for 8 people every day pretty much till she passed away in her late 80s.

Traitor McCain badgers Comey to defend traitor Trump. What a Trumpublikkkan stooge McCain has proved himself to be. Harping about Clinton emails to absolve Trump of being a Russian agent. Partisan Republikkkans would rather defend Traitor Trump and his sponsor Putin than stand behind the FBI and the integrity of American democracy and the integrity of our electoral process.

Dear to us is the legacy of Ravachol
And the last speech of Henry
For the slogan ‘Commune and Liberty’
We are ready to lay down our lives!
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Down with the noise of church bells!
We shall sound a different alarm
With explosions and groans in the land
We shall build our own harmony!
—  song of Russian anarchist partisan detachments
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The Ascent Directed by Larisa Shepitko (1977)- Recently I said that the Soviets were the best at creating consistently striking images and man that just gets proven again here. I hadn’t heard of this film until recently and it seems crazy I didn’t know of Larisa Shepitko. For one this film was amazing so I’m looking forward to seeing her other stuff, and she was also married to Elem Klimov the director of the amazing Come and See. Sounds like an interesting person about whom I’ll need to find out more about. The Ascent tells the story of two Russian partisans trying to get some food for the group they’re trying to help on a journey. Along the way they face traitors and sickness before clashing with some Germans. Through their story of survival these two men and where their true commitments lie are completely exposed. An ideology can seem like everything until ones life is in the way, few put their life before anything. Set in the snow and shot in black and white the film often shows its characters swallowed by the landscape. Oftentimes this near omnipresent whiteness is a saviour by shielding them from harm but it can also leave them exposed. Their beliefs have them in a similar spot, a source of strength at one moment and a source of pain in another. For a period it’s a familiar war survival story but constantly changes what type of story it’s telling. A lot of the separate elements are variations on things I have seen before, for the most part, but this is a really perfect example of how one tells something being what elevates it so much. Every aspect of the story is told in as beautiful a way as possible, and it’s not just the presence of Anatoliy Solonitsyn that makes me think of Tarkovsky. This would make a great double-bill with Ivan’s Childhood, although the lighting in this reminded me more of Tarkovsky’s later films. Lighting looks like natural light yet it is unnaturally perfect. Incredibly cinematic lighting can be used yet is made to look like how the sun just happens to be shining. Russian war films are fast becoming my favourites. Every facet of cinema is used in the most stylish way to tell unique little stories. That’s another thing these films often get right is the scale. The Ascent is predominantly a film about two men but all that happens speaks to a much wider audience. It captures the more universal pains of people lost in fear in war, the distortion of morality in war, and how the cruelty of others poisons the whole, as well as much more. A big world/war-ending device doesn’t need to be the threat when getting lost in ones fear is palpable enough. Another thing it gets right is humanising the villains to an extent. They are still monstrous but you’re always reminded that this monstrosity comes from a human place, which makes it all the scarier. Nazi’s and Russian traitors aren’t stock villains but people just like the protagonists that have been warped by fear and an ideology, but circumstance has pulled them to worse places. Looking forward to seeing more of Shepitko’s work, her and Kalatozov have reignited my interest in this period of Russian film.

A1 Poster at disorder rebel store!!


ANTIFASCIST PARTISAN II

nachdem wir ein Poster mit einem unbekannten Partisan aus der Sovieunion gedruckt haben, kommt hier, wie versprochen der zweite Teil der Plakat-Reihe. Es erinnert an die jüdischen Partisan_innen in Vilna. Das Bild von  Sara Ginaite haben wir einer Orginal-Fotografie von 1944 nachempfunden. Dr. Sara Ginaite ist Autorin des Buches “Resistance and Survival” und hat als 18-jährige Überlebende des Ghettos Kovno mit russischen Partisan_innen in einer jüdischen Partisanen-Einheit bewaffnet gegen die Faschisten gekämpft.

Das Plakat ist auf Karton im A1Format gedruckt ab nächste Woche bei uns im Laden erhältlich!

Sara Ginaite was born in Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania, in 1924.
During the first large Aktion of October 1941, the Gestapo selected 9200 Kovno Jews, including over 4000 children, to murder in the nearby Ninth Fort. Sara, then a teenager, survived and joined the Anti-Fascist Fighting Organization (AFO) in 1942. She met and married the charismatic leader of its youth group, Misha Rubinson. Sara and Misha were among the first group of young fighters smuggled out of the Kovno Ghetto to join the Russian partisans in the Rudninkai Forest 50 kilometres away. One of Sara’s assignments was to return to the ghetto to bring out more young people. About 300 were eventually able to join the partisans.
In July 1944, Sara and Misha participated in the liberation of Vilnius and Kovno but were too late to save 90 percent of the Jews, including most of the members of their families, who had been murdered. Only Sara, Misha, Sara’s older sister, Alice, Alice’s husband, and a young niece left hidden with Lithuanians survived the Holocaust.
In spite of still rampant antisemitism, Sara completed her doctoral studies in Political Economics and obtained an appointment as a professor at Vilnius University. There she published studies in her field and on the Holocaust in Lithuania. Her book Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, 1941–1944, which was enlarged, translated into English, and published in Toronto, won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Holocaust History in 2006.
After her husband’s death, Sara joined her two daughters in Canada in 1983. For the next 15 years, she was an Adjunct Professor at York University and lectured widely in Canada, Israel, Europe, and the United States about her World War II experiences.

Ein Buch über Sarahs Leben:
Sara Ginaitė-Rubinsonienė (Ginaite-Rubinson): Resistance and Survival: The Jewish Community in Kaunas, Lituania, 1941–1944. Mosaic Press, Oakville (Ontario) 2005 

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Welcome to death. Welcome to agonizing pain. Welcome to the most pointless, expensive, and horrific activity in human history. Welcome to the latest chapter in my continuing photographic series on war.

CHAPTER FOUR

“More Bodies of People Who Died in Agonizing Fucking Pain”

These types of images were carefully controlled during the war and only in the last couple of decades have the floodgates really opened regarding the forensic photography from it. If we had such images of our “War on Terror”, perhaps people would be a little less apt to do this to each other.

I won’t deny I have a ghoulish interest in death, chaos, and destruction in all of it’s forms. But war is the biggest train wreck ever, and I can’t stop looking at it. This is the bold and bare evidence of the true cost of war. The only war worth fighting is the one against it. WAR NO MORE.