The Dmitriev Affair
The suspicious Soviet leader Stalin saw traitors and class enemies everywhere trying to undermine his power and that of the Communist Party. This led to endless purges in which innumerable people, high and low, were arrested. Those who were arrested not only had to confess their crimes, but also denounce their supporters. In 1937, this purge campaign was at its fiercest: the Great Terror. Those who were 'guilty' were exiled to a gulag or simply executed.
In the pine forests of Karelia, which borders Finland, Russian historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev has found a mass grave containing the remains of thousands of people who were secretly executed during that period. He wants to give all these nameless victims their identities back so that their families will finally know what happened to their disappeared relatives. Abroad, the importance of his work is recognised and appreciated, but in Russia itself, he is suspected of colluding with the West. This has consequences.
After the film, director Jessica Gorter will be interviewed by Hanneke Groenteman.