Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

The Dmitriev Affair film cover. Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. The Dmitriev Affair
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Please join the Harriman Institute for a screening of The Dmitriev Affair, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jessica Gorter. Moderated by Yana Skorobogatov.

Yuri Dmitriev exhumes what the Russian rulers would rather forget. After years of searching the pine forests of Karelia in northwestern Russia, he discovers a mass grave containing thousands of people who were secretly executed during Stalin’s “Great Terror” of 1937.

It is not the Russian government but Yuri Dmitriev who tracks down their identities in the archives and organizes commemorations for their next of kin. Thanks to his efforts, they finally find out what happened to their lost relatives. Having himself been left at a maternity clinic as a baby, he is a man on a mission: ‘Every human being has the right to know where they came from and where their family lies buried.’

While abroad there is increasing recognition for this “archaeologist of terror”, in Russia Dmitriev is discredited as someone collaborating with the West. Then he is arrested, on basis of a fabricated charge. Tragically accurate Dmitriev predicts his own future and that of his country.