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Nikolai Vavilov was a botanical genius who travelled the world, accumulating a vast wealth of biodiversity. Trofim Lyssenko was a talented agronomist who claimed he could increase crop-yields through his pseudo inventions. In the young Soviet Union plagued by famine, they attempted to solve the problem haunting the communist authorities: how to feed the people.
Vavilov, the genius, would die of hunger in a Stalinist prison, Lyssenko the pseudo inventor, ended up as president of the academy of sciences...
Also check out director Gulya Mirzoeva's previous film, Afghanistan 1979, The War That Changed the World (58') - click here.
“A rich variety of archives accurately tell the fate of two scientists who were both dreaming of a generous agricultural production. One did so with honesty, the other not.”
(Marie-Joëlle Gros – telerama.fr)
“In this archival documentary – many of them hitherto unpublished - Russian director Gulya Mirzoeva, born in Tajikistan, of Russian culture but now living in France, tells the story of this rivalry with dramatic consequences.”
(Lucien Jedwab – lemonde.fr)
“This impressive documentary [presents] rich and fascinating pictorial material in a way that reflects the intellectual climate of the Cold War. The supression of genetics in the Soviety Union was the great scientific scandal of 20th-century science.” (Nils Roll-Hansen
University of Oslo for "Slavic Review, spring 2019)
"Highly recommended! The talented filmmaker Gulya Mirzoeva uses excellent archival footage to tell this compelling and gripping story." (Andrew Jenks, California State University - for Educ. Media Reviews)
Festivals and Awards:
* 2019: Nominated for “Best Use of Footage in a History Production” at FOCAL Awards, taking place on June 20th at The Troxy in London
* 2019: has entered the official selection of the History Film Festival 2019 (10-14 Sept. in Rijeka, Croatia).
* 2018:"Special mention at Grand Prix AST" at Pariscience, Intl Scientific Festival. Festival (Oct., 2018, Paris).
* 2018: Pessac History Festival, selected at the "Panorama du documentaire", 19 - 21 Nov. 2018 (Pessac, France)