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A story about two very different men: one of them, Nikolai Vavilov, was a botanical genius who travelled the world, accumulating a vast wealth of biodiversity. The other - Trofim Lyssenko - was a talented agronomist who claimed he was able to increase crop-yields through his pseudo inventions. In the young Soviet Union plagued by famine, they would each attempt, in their own way, to solve the problem which haunted the communist authorities: how to feed the people.
The genius would die of hunger in a Stalinist prison, the charlatan 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“In this archival documentary – many of them hitherto unpublished - Russian director Gulya Mirzoeva, born in Tajikistan, of Russian culture but now living in France, tells the story of this rivalry with dramatic consequences.”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)
Festivals and Awards:
* 2018: Selected at Pariscience, Intl scientific festival. Festival screening on 28 October, Paris.
* 2018: Pessac History Festival, selected at the "Panorama du documentaire", 19 - 21 Nov. 2018 (Pessac, France)