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The Stalin that was Played by Me

Daya Cahen, 2006, Digibeta, 15’, Amsterdam

English & Russian with English subtitles

A scene from a feature film, a TV in the background and a handful of family pictures – that is all we need for an intriguing encounter with Yevgeni Jugashvili, the grandson and the spitting image of Joseph Stalin. Jugashvili adores the Man of Steel. Still, the latter never wanted to meet him, and the party leader mercilessly sacrificed his own son, Jugashvili’s father, in the Second World War.

Manipulation, propaganda and social compulsion have spun a web of stories that have erased Yevgeni's personal identity. Still the filmmaker runs the risk of getting carried away by his enthusiasm. For the sake of her film, she conceals her own Jewish roots. In this way, the film also ponders the question of how far you should renounce who you are in order to pursue your goals.

Daya Cahen studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her THE STALIN THAT WAS PLAYED BY ME was her film directing debut.