Women of the Gulag

Vladimir Bukovsky on Women of the Gulag

The USSR was a huge zone of human suffering.
Inside that zone there was also a hell that contained its powerless slaves—the GULAG.
But within that hell, there was an even more terrible hell.
Varlam Shalamov — the great writer who lived through the GULAG hell — dsaid the women in the camps were slaves of the slaves.
Their experience was so horrific that eyewitnesses were afraid to describe it in detail.
I could not understand how you can make a film about «what a person should not know, should not see, and if he has, he is better off dead,» as Shalamov wrote.
Marianna Yarovskaya has managed to do it. Her heroines, who survived the GULAG, say almost nothing about their suffering. But I could hear their desperate screams during their silences.
To go through such suffering without going mad is a spiritual feat.
To make such a film is a moral feat.
I would compare the appearance of Women of the Gulag with the appearance of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
The Gulag Archipelago was awarded the Nobel Prize.
I am glad that there is the opportunity to award an Oscar to Women of the Gulag.