Widow of the Revolution: The Anna Larina Story

Featuring the voice of Vanessa Redgrave as Anna Larina

Anna Larina was the young bride of Nikolai Bukharin, one of the top ten Bolsheviks in the early years of the Russian Revolution. This documentary is based on her memorable autobiography, This I Cannot Forget, which she wrote late in life, after being imprisoned for almost twenty years in the Russian Gulag. Larina's life story is recounted by her, interwoven with extraordinary archival film and interviews.

Larina had grown up amidst the dazzling personalities in Revolutionary circles and recalls Lenin, Stalin and others. She recounts her love affair and marriage with Bukharin, which ended with his arrest in 1937, during Stalin's Great Terror. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested, sent to Astrakhan Prison and later to the Siberian gulag camps where she spent twenty years. She followed Stalin's notorious show trials as closely as she could; these crushed the Party's ideals and hopes of reform. Bukharin was executed after the trials. Decades later in 1992, when Stalin's personal archives were opened, Bukharin's books, philosophical treatises, poetry and a novel were discovered. One of these, How It All Began, was published around the world. Upon Stalin's death in 1956, Larina was released from the camps.

Due to Larina's efforts, Bukharin was rehabilitated in 1992 by the Russian government when Gorbachev felt the need to show that there had been an alternative to the Stalinist legacy. The Russian scholar, Stephen F. Cohen, who narrates this documentary, became a close friend of this exceptionally courageous woman.

Related Subjects: 

Doubletake Film Festival, 2001
Gold Medal, World Media Festival, Hamburg, 2001
Hot Springs Documentary Film festival, 2001


"…a moving profile…suggested for both serious students of Russian history and biography buffs." Booklist

"an informative historical documentary … a compelling story told here with archival footage, photos, and Larina's own recollections and commentary…" Cineaste


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Streaming Access (3-year) $299.00
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