As an actor in London, Dolya Gavanski has played a dizzying array of Russian stereotypes, from spies to sex workers, to oligarchs’ wives. But the women she remembered from her Soviet days were different.
Directing her own documentary, Gavanski sets out to hear the stories of the women who shaped the narrative of 20th century USSR, including the Nobel Prize for Literature winning author Svetlana Alexievich, internet sensation Elena Krygina and exiled feminist dissident Natalya Malakhovskaya. With a treasure trove of rare archive, we travel from the censoring of sexuality in Russian ballet, to getting engaged as a woman soldier in World War Two, to the terrible conditions of the siege of Leningrad.
The daughters of the Russian Revolution were raised in a culture that had officially proclaimed women equal to men. They were told they could achieve it all, but at what cost - and what was the reality?