Mosfilm Puts Soviet Movies On YouTube

Originally published on May 5, 2011 11:16 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

A legendary Moscow film studio, Mosfilm, is putting a treasure trove of Soviet films on the Internet site. It includes Soviet classics and some lesser-known movies, like a 1973 comedy called "Ivan Vasilevich Changes Profession."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "IVAN VASILEVICH CHANGES PROFESSION")

U: (as character) (Russian spoken)

U: (as character) (Russian spoken)

U: (as character) (Russian spoken)

INSKEEP: Very few people have really seen this rich collection.

INSKEEP: That's Julie Hessler, who's a Russian history professor at the University of Oregon. Now you would think that old Soviet films would all be propaganda pieces. But it seems that filmmakers slipped some good ones past the censors. And Hessler says she's thrilled being able to have easy access to them.

INSKEEP: My students are very often surprised at how sophisticated the filmmaking itself was and how interesting and kind of engaging those Soviet films were.

INSKEEP: So the studio's goal here is to have more people watch its films legally. It plans to upload five new films per week onto the dedicated YouTube channel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, Host:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.