ⓘ The Russian Question


ⓘ The Russian Question

The Russian Question is a Soviet political drama by renowned filmmaker Mikhail Romm. The film is an adaptation of a play of the same name by Soviet poet and journalist Konstantin Simonov.


1. Subject

New York, 1946: a leading US newspaper company sends Harry Smith, a talented correspondent, to the Soviet Union. His task is to write a scaremongering report about the Soviet belligerent and expansionist intentions in order to further a widespread campaign of propaganda undertaken by the American media and the conservative elite. Harry, a former war correspondent, accepts the attractive deal and sets off to Soviet Russia only to fall in love with a country quite different from the picture shown by the "free press" in its Cold War adversary. Back in the United States, Harry finds himself torn by a dilemma between his consciousness as an honest journalist, and the menacing pressure of his superiors, forcing him to write a convenient untruth.

Keeping its ideological design in mind, The Russian Question remains a sophisticated and objective, if somewhat critical portrayal of American Cold War political society. Unlike many other Soviet propaganda films, Romms drama takes on an American perspective, only showing the Soviet Union discussed in the movie for a short combination of shots. The bulk of the film is centered on American culture, society, politics, history, economy and way of life.


2. Cast

  • Arkadi Tsinman - Preston
  • Gennadi Yudin - Parker
  • Mikhail Astangov - McFerson
  • Mikhail Troyanovsky - Williams
  • Boris Poslavsky - Hardy
  • Mariya Barabanova - Meg
  • Viktor Dragunsky - Radio announcer
  • Boris Tenin - Morphy
  • Yelena Kuzmina - Jessie
  • Vsevolod Aksyonov - Harry Smith
  • Mikhail Nazvonov - Gould