"Tim Toidze weaves the humour, hysteria and surreal qualities of this state visit into a profile of the political propaganda that permeated both sides of the Iron Curtain." - Hot Docs Film Festival
A COLD WAR COMEDY OF ERRORS
This little known story could have ended the Cold War long before Gorbachev. Amid the descent of the Iron Curtain, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the conflict in Vietnam lies one of the more bizarre moments of the period. In the autumn of 1959 with communist paranoia at its peak, the US Government made the extraordinary decision to invite the Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, America’s arch-enemy, for an unprecedented, 'no-holds-barred' two week tour of the United States. Their aim was to influence and convert the Russian leader to the wonders of the free world but unbeknownst to them, Khrushchev had his own agenda and he wasn’t going to back down.
Khrushchev’s personal voice recordings from the trip are used to offer a remarkable insight into his experience’s in America, mixed with television footage, home movies (by Khrushchev’s son Sergei), photos and political propaganda – both Soviet and American. His often humorous commentary, makes for a surreal and fantastically entertaining documentary about this now forgotten historical event. At a time when ordinary Americans built atomic shelters in their backyard, Khrushchev veered between seducing them and threatening to blow them to smithereens. In the end, he won the PR war, captivating citizens and media alike in – as he termed it – the trip of his life.
Friday 24 July 6:30pm
Saturday 25 July 6:30pm
Sunday 26 July 8:40pm
Monday 27 July 6:30pm
Tuesday 28 July 8:40pm
Wednesday 29 July 6:30pm
The feature will be showing with a series of short documentaries. See below for details:
Did you hear the one about the American, Cuban, and Soviet?
We delve behind the scenes and into the mindsets of three world leaders who faltered on the brink of nuclear armageddon. This series of short animations from The Armageddon Letters explores what really transpired during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
(The Armageddon Letters is a transmedia project led by the scholars and filmmakers that were involved in the Academy Award-winning documentary, THE FOG OF WAR. Find out more HERE.)
Director: Mike Michell / Canada / 2012 / 5mins
Director: Ken Turner / Canada / 2012 / 5.17mins
Directors: Anna Bron + Andrew Whyte / Canada / 2012 / 5.16mins