Jessica Gorter / NL, 2023 / 93 min.
In this documentary, Joeri Dmitriev unearths what today’s Russian rulers would prefer forgotten. After years of searching, he discovers mass graves in north-western Russia containing the bodies of thousands of people secretly executed during Stalin’s 1936-1938 ‘Great Purge’.
It’s not the Russian government, but Dmitriev who relentlessly traces their identities in the archives and organises memorials for their families. Thanks to his efforts, they finally know the fates of their loved ones. That he himself was abandoned as a baby at a maternity clinic makes him a man with a mission: "Humans should be allowed to know their heritage and where their family members are buried".
The Dmitriev Affair