The American Who Electrified Russia

 

A documentary by
Michael Chanan

105mns / DV / 2009
Festivals: Punto de Vista International Documentary Festival, Pamplona, 2010; Cali, Colombia, 2010

A film about the role of the individual in history, and of history in the individual. Solomon Trone (1872-1969), a cousin of the film-maker’s grandmother, is a figure unrecorded in the history books, whose life was nonetheless intertwined with History, but in paradoxical fashion: as a communist revolutionary and a director of General Electric (first in Russia, then the USA). Drawing on archives both public and private, this is also a film about the gap between family memory and public knowledge of history—not the history we think we know, but another history, lived in another way.

 

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Available for purchase and streaming from Artfilms

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Made with assistance from the AHRC & Roehampton University