Lessons based on Marina Goldovskaya's film Solovky Power

This series lessons is based on excerpts from Marina Goldovskaya's groundbreaking documentary film, Solovky PowerThe film, which recounts the history of the opening of the Soviet Union's first concentration camp, features interviews with several of the prisoners held at the camp, including internationally renowned scholar of medieval Russian culture Dmitrii Likhachev. Another interview subject is Aleksandr Prokhorov, whose grandson recounts for RAILS his experience growing up in a family setting in which one learned at an early age not to discuss grandpa's biography.

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Lesson Title Authors Short Description
Lesson 1: About the Camp Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This lesson features an excerpt from the film in which Dmitrii Likhachev describes his experiences at the Solovky prison camp.  Students learn about the geography of Solovky and its place in the history of the Soviet Gulag.  Students also read excerpts from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago in Russian and hear different opinions about Solovky today.  Students also work with different verbal prefixes. 

Recommended page for print out and discussion:  14/16 or 15/16.

Lesson 2: Heroes Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This lesson features clips from interviews with other people who were imprisoned at Solovky.  Students learn how and why they were arrested and what happened to some of them after they left Solovky.  They will compare spoken and written discourse, work with diminutive forms and learn to distinguish different personal speaking styles.  Recommended class activity:  Prepare to discuss how and why each hero in this lesson was arrested and what was that hero's subsequent fate.

Recommended page for print out and discussion:  18/18.

Lesson 3: Life in the Camp and After Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This lesson features another clip from the film in which Dmitrii Likhachev talks about an execution that occurred at the Solovky camp.  Students also learn about daily life in the camp and hear about torture practices.  They read from and listen to excerpts from Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago and hear different opinions about how the camp affected prisoners and their families. 

Recommended pages for print-out and discussion:  13/16 and 14/16.

Lesson 4: About the Film Solovky Power Shannon Spasova, with Victoria Thorstensson, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

This lesson consists of two clips from an interview with filmmaker Maria Goldovskaya in which she describes the making of the film.  She discusses how she got the name of the film past the censors, how different groups of people reacted to the film, and about some of the effects of the film on Russian society.  Students working through this lesson learn about filler words, false starts, pauses and cause-and-effect relationships in Russian. 

Recommended page for print-out and discussion:  9/14 or 12/14.

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