Guest post by Neil Wichlinski
THE K. EFFECT. STALIN’S EDITOR is a unique historical fiction focused on life in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world from the 1920’s through the mid-20th century. It’s a film with a format similar to Forrest Gump without the humor and innocence. Instead it follows the life of Maxime Stransky, a young filmer/actor who is sent on assignments from Joseph Stalin, playing a pivotal role in world events such as the 1929 stock market crash and Spanish Civil War.
The composition of this film is very unique, which is made up of clips from “home movies” collected by Stransky throughout his life combined with actual clips from historical events and images of the time period. This was my favorite component of the film. It was fascinating to see these old clips and get a feel for how things appeared during this era.
These clips combine with Stransky’s narrative to provide an experience of the culture and lifestyle of people living in Eastern Europe during this era. The fear, frustration, and hopeless resistance are transcended through this film as Stransky attempts to balance his family as well as the personal demands of a ruthless dictator. I think we often find ourselves wondering how people could go along with the plans of a leader such as Stalin or Hitler, and this story really puts you in the shoes of a man at their mercy with no other options or way out.
As a history buff, I adored this film. Although it wasn’t historically accurate, it provided a great amount social and cultural history which I don’t think could be captured if the people and events were true. So if you’re also a history buff, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
I would also consider THE K. EFFECT a film buff’s film. As I previously mentioned, the film’s composition is very unique and is something that must be seen to understand. Because the film is made up of thousands of short clips, you can’t help but appreciate the time taken putting them all together. Also, because the main character is a filmmaker, there is much discussion between Maxime and his friend Sergei about the purpose of film. To capture reality, or create it. As you watch THE K EFFECT you come to realize that the film itself does exactly this. It captures the reality of things as they happened in this era, but creates reality to portray a fantastic historical fiction that is a must see at this year’s festival.
The 2013 Indianapolis International Film Festival will take place July 18 to 28. Secure your tickets now for K. EFFECT.