Edvins Snore Comes to Washington
Although he commented that he did not fully realize that travel time and public speaking would be a substantial part of his work with The Soviet Story, Director Edvins Snore was prepared to answer any question presented to him about his documentary with both diplomacy and tact. Snore worked for 10 years interviewing scholars and witnesses, compiling newsreels, newly discovered documents and other media from archives in Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Great Britain and Germany to create his film, which is worthy of serious attention by everyone in an informed society.
So much of 20th century history has been forgotten, ignored and/or is being rewritten. Snore’s The Soviet Story presents things seldom talked about and ties events together and presents conclusions that despite their significant relevance in today’s world, are not often discussed.
The documentary shows the philosophical, political, and actual collaboration between the Nazi and Soviet systems in the years leading up to and during the Second World War. It presents archival documents revealing just how much the Soviet Union helped Nazi Germany create the Holocaust and uncovers the scope of atrocities that took place under Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union. And, despite his accomplishment and the awards the film has won the 35 year-old film director is quite modest about the film’s acclaim.
In the short time span of three days, Edvins Snore made considerable progress in not only promoting his film, The Soviet Story, but in creating interest and support for further investigation into the injustices and atrocities faced by people within the Soviet Union and Eastern Europeans before the fall of the Soviet Union.
On Monday, January 25, at a National Press Club “Newsmaker Hour” hosted by Mr. Peter Hickman, Director Edvins Snore presented selected clips of the film and answered questions. The Newsmaker Hour was well attended and most, if not all, members of the audience responded well to what they saw and heard. In response to questions about his future, Snore answered he will be finishing his doctorate within the next year and referenced some ideas for future documentaries.
Edvins Snore with Peter Hickman at the National Press Club
On Tuesday, Snore attended the Day of Latvia Reception at the Latvian Embassy and met with Ambassador Andrejs Pildregovics. The Pajamas TV Station (video available on the web at http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=video&video-id=3007) and the Vietnamese News Channel in Washington, D.C. both interviewed Mr. Snore. In addition, Mr. Snore held screenings and discussions with students at both the National Defense University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in the district.
Wednesday's schedule was no less strenuous; Snore attended a brunch with members of the press, diplomats and NGO representatives, at which they discussed the film in a casual setting. Many were interested in screening it at high schools and universities in the United States, as well as promoting it further within the film industry. All agreed the film has the potential to inform not only European nationals, but American students, academics, and policy makers.
Finally, Mr. Snore travelled to Capitol Hill where Members of Congress and congressional staff attended a briefing and screening of film clips sponsored by the co-chairs of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus and other Members of Congress. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida’s 18th district, the senior Republican on the House Committee on International Relations, had seen the film and commended Mr. Snore on his work and accomplishments. Ros-Lehtinen spoke of her own experience with communism and her parents' flight from Cuba under Fidel Castro.
The week’s events were successful in promoting a better understanding of history. Edvins Snore's closing remarks summarize his film-making goals: “We must learn to do again what we have done with the events of the Holocaust; it is simply important to talk about it and discuss so that these things do not happen again.”
Mr. Snore’s visit to Washington was made possible by support from Daris Delins of Perry Street Advisors and by the week’s organizers: The Moldova Foundation, The U.S.-Baltic Foundation, U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF), The Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC) and the Ukrainian Federation of America. A special thank you to Dan Martini, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congressman Jim Gerlach’s office for their support as well.
Edvins Snore with the staff and friends of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation
The UACC and the USUF have partnered to promote education concerning the Great Famine/Genocide of 1933 (Holodomor) and other historical events through use of multi-media and community action. The work done to promote Edvins Snore’s film The Soviet Story is part of this larger effort.
Edvins Snore also presented his film in New York at the Ukrainian National Museum, appeared at the Latvian Cultural Center in Philadelphia, and in Toronto interviewed with Chinese NTDTV, Epoch Times, and Fairchild TV31. Finally, he attended an event, sponsored by the Canada Ukraine Foundation, Tribute to Liberty, and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, attended by 500 guests.
If there is interest in coordinating similar events this coming spring, please contact Ihor Gawdiak (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the UACC or Oksana Yakovenko (email@example.com) at the US-Ukraine Foundation. In addition, The Soviet Story can be purchased on DVD (subtitles in 30 languages) on www.buyukraine.org.