February 11, 2014
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Room 707, International Affairs Building, Columbia University
420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10026

Forty years ago, in February 1974, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of the seminal work The Gulag Archipelago, was flown to West Germany in what was to be the first in a series of forced expulsions of dissidents from the Soviet Union (a practice seemingly revived by the current Russian authorities).

On February 11, 2014, the Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) and the Harriman Institute will present the English-language version of They Chose Freedom, a documentary film on the history of the Soviet dissident movement.

Following the screening, there will be a discussion with Vladimir Bukovsky, one of the leading Soviet-era dissidents, who spent twelve years in the Gulag and was himself forcibly exiled to the West (directly from his prison cell) in 1976.


Vladimir Kara-Murza
IMR Senior Advisor, author of They Chose Freedom

Rad Borislavov
Faculty Fellow, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Columbia University

Vladimir Bukovsky
Writer, former Soviet dissident and political prisoner

About the Film:
They Chose Freedom, a documentary film written and produced by Russian historian and television journalist Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, tells the story of the dissident movement in the USSR, from its emergence in the 1950s until the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship in 1991. The film is narrated primarily through interviews with prominent Russian dissidents: Elena Bonner, Vladimir Bukovsky, Vladimir Dremlyuga, Viktor Fainberg, Natalia Gorbanevskaya, Naum Korzhavin, Sergei Kovalev, Eduard Kuznetsov, Pavel Litvinov, Yuri Orlov, Alexander Podrabinek, Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, and Alexander Yesenin-Volpin. The Institute of Modern Russia sponsored the translation and English-language production of They Chose Freedom as part of its commitment to preserving the legacy of those who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for freedom, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia.

Please RSVP to imrrsvp@gmail.com