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The Collapse of Communism demonstrates that political change does not necessarily mean a changing of the guard. Director Robert Buchar’s central thesis is that the threat Russia posed to the U.S. during the Cold War has not abated since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The same people who opposed the U.S. remain in power today, and they have since gained the higher ground. Beginning with perestroika, Buchar weaves a series of interviews with notable dissidents, defectors, government agents, journalists, and professors into a compelling account of how economic turmoil in the former Soviet Union led top officials to re-strategize its conflict with the West. Using the binary of communism vs. democracy as an ideological smokescreen, Russia was able to goad the U.S. into believing the Cold War had been “won.” Buchar contends that Russia is now uniquely able to project an agreeable image of its internal politics to the West while using its Cold War espionage networks and connections to organized crime to press its strategic advantage. The film will likely raise eyebrows among more skeptical viewers, but Buchar’s case is enlivened by the inclusion of a news ticker, vignettes, special effects, and a soundtrack befitting a spy thriller. Whether you’re sold on all the film’s claims, you can’t deny this oft-repeated notion: the most effective form of deception is telling someone what they want to hear and letting them write the story. Featuring former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Tennent H. Bagley, former chief of counterintelligence for the CIA’s Soviet division.

Robert Buchar---USA/Belgium/Czech Republic---2012---107 mins.
  • Blu-ray edition