Movie night: "Age of Delirium", the collapse of the Soviet Union

The documentary 

"Age of Delirium," a new documentary by David Satter, tells the story of the fall of the Soviet Union as lived and experienced by the Soviet people. Satter's film tells the story of Alexander Shatravka, who crossed the Finnish border only to be handed back by the Finns and tortured in a mental hospital; the residents of the city of Shadrinsk, who believed in the Soviet ideology only to learn the reality of the Soviet system fighting in Afghanistan; and Ludvikas Simutis, who spent his entire life fighting for the independence of Lithuania after the murder of his father and many others.

By recreating through personal stories the eerie reality of the Soviet Union's fictitious world, Satter shows what it meant to live in a society based on a false idea and the tragic consequences of the Soviet attempt to remake human nature. The film describes the Brezhnev era and the influence of Gorbachev and perestroika. It concludes with the events of 1991, the massacre at the Vilnius television tower, the mass protests in Moscow, and the August 1991 coup, all of which led to the December 25,1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

David Satter will be present for a Q&A session.

The panel discussion

The film screening will be followed by an expert panel discussion, to go deeper into the subject of the documentary. The experts will discuss the political evolution of the post-Soviet countries coming from the Soviet Union and, for some, as members of the European Union.

Reflecting the history and different trajectories that have been followed by Eastern European states since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, a link will also be made to more recent geopolitical events in the region, like the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the tensions between Russia and the EU.

The panel of experts will include:

Mr. Michiel Servaes – Dutch member of parliament for the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA), spokesperson on foreign affairs.

H.E. Mr. Darius Jonas Semaska – Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Netherlands.

Mr. Tony van der Togt - Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, previously among others Special Representative of the bilateral year Netherlands-Russia 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mrs. Kysia Hekster (TBC) – Dutch journalist and former correspondent for the NOS in Moscow between 2008 and 2012. She is also the author of “De Poetin Show”, published in 2012, where she details the media strategy used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reinforce his power.

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