L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 913, March 12, 2017
In Defense of Bitter Harvest
by Brad Linaweaver
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
I’ve waited a lifetime to see this movie. Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, I made a typical pest of myself in Hollywood. Seemed to me that the time had come for a commercial dramatic film about Stalin’s Holocaust in Ukraine. Despite many sudden productions in that part of the world (taking advantage of the cheap prices in a collapsed economy), there was no interest in a movie about what happened to the Kulaks.
Russia even cooperated with a movie that was anti-Stalin, starring Robert Duvall. It was a good movie, and told the truth about the Show Trials. But no Ukraine. It’s like doing a movie about Hitler, and showing everything bad about him, except there’s no mention of the Jews.
(In 1996, I worked material about what happened in Ukraine into my novel, Sliders, with the full support of Tracy Torme. Dedicated the book to William F. Buckley, Jr., who had once done a special two hour special on Firing Line regarding the forgotten genocide. There’s more to remember. Alex Lucyshyn is an old friend, with family in Ukraine. I worked his father into a scene of the novel. Alex’s Dad gave out copies of the novel on a trip to Ukraine. Needless to say, I made the rounds in Hollywood again, to no avail.)
Despite books and documentaries on the subject of the organized mass starvation, it’s not the same as a dramatic film with a real budget and real stars. Hollywood just wasn’t interested, but finally the Brits have made the film!!!
The magnificent Terence Stamp is in it. An actor is in it who starred in a science fiction film on which I did publicity: none other than Barry Pepper, who starred in Battlefield Earth. The entire cast is just right.
Bitter Harvest isn’t perfect. Some of the opening scenes overdo the sentimentality, for one thing. But when the story picks up, the tension is maintained right to the bitter end. This film opens a front into world cinema. A second front is sure to follow.
Bitter Harvest is superior to some of the films that were Oscar nominees this year. Don’t trust the inevitable bad reviews.
There is a brief history lesson at the end. Did you know that Russia finally signed a document admitting to—and apologizing for—Stalin’s genocide in Ukraine? This happened in 2003. That’s the same modern Russia that later seized Crimea. Interesting. You get the good, you get the bad ….
The point is that Putin’s Russia is personal and autocratic (Al Capone violence) instead of the Collectivist Cosmic Evil of Stalin (Hitlerian violence).
As for the Dems who are using anti-Russian things against Trump, I don’t think they’ll use this movie. Brings up the past. If it had been my movie, there would have been an epilogue of The New York Times covering up Stalin’s crimes in Ukraine—which is what they actually did at the time.
Remember this truly inconvenient history as the Times endeavors to “save” us from Putin.
Not to be outdone by dishonest reporting in the Times from the 30s, today’s Washington Post offers the wisdom of Michael O’Sullivan. He questions the truth of the Holdomor. Well, he’s found one genocidal horror that can be questioned throughout the world without fear of fine or imprisonment.
There is a simple way for the Dems to stop complaining about the Russians. All the Russians have to do is go back to Communism.
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