This film is part of Free

The Russia Nobody Knows

Eager science students, devout peasants, tough farm workers and hungry families: this film offered a rare chance for viewers to see the human face of Russia in the aftermath of war.

Documentary 1947 19 mins


March of Time's compelling and sensitive picture of life in the Soviet Union, revealing the humanity of the Russian people as they struggle to rebuild their country after the war. From a farm labourer negotiating her wage, an elderly woman painstakingly threading a needle, to the delighted laughter of children in a Minsk orphanage, the film manages to give a sense of the individuality of every person featured: a testament to cameraman Peter Hopkinson’s skill as a documentarist.

This film was made for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) by English cameraman Peter Hopkinson, who was allowed to film freely in the Ukraine and Belarus, as he followed the trail of UNRRA supplies from the port of Odessa into the heart of a country recovering from the war. Hopkinson, who had a long and distinguished career in documentary film, worked during the war for the army’s Films and Photographic Unit, contributing to ‘Desert Victory’ (1943) a Ministry of Information film directed by Roy Boulting about the North African campaign against Rommel. The work he did for this film led to an association with March of Time which lasted until the demise of the series in 1951.