Aleksandr MARKOV
Александр МАРКОВ
Aleksandr MARKOV
Russia, 2022, 65mn 
Red Africa
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Красная Африка


 Afrique rouge

 Krasnaya Afrika

Directed by : Egor BARANOV (Егор БАРАНОВ), Aleksandr MARKOV (Александр МАРКОВ)

Awards :
Best Editing DOKer. Moscow International Documentary Film Festival, Moscow (Russia), 2022

Plot synopsis
After gaining independence in the early 1960s, the young African nations are greeted by an unexpected and enigmatic friend from a!far-off continent. Soviet parliamentarians arrive in an endless stream, paying visits to Africa’s new leaders. These ambassadors of the nation with a ‘bright future’ radiate friendliness and offer assistance in technical, social and cultural development under the banner of a new ideology of equality and fraternity. But is everything as carefree as the Soviet propaganda claims? What were the real objectives of the Red Empire?

Commentaries and bibliography
Red Africa: a documentary about the absurdity of Soviet propaganda,, 2022
Колониализм по дружбе: Красная Африка Александра МАРКОВА [Afique rouge de Egor BARANOV? 2022], Максим ЕРШОВ,, 2022
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT Several years ago, I visited a Russian film archive where I found a number of reels produced in Africa during the Cold War by order of the Soviet Union. The footage revealed a prototype version of the Soviet paradise in Africa. The Soviet Union, however, collapsed in the early 90s — did it really spend thirty years building a twin version of itself on the African content (1960–1990)? I was in a state of disbelief when I saw the footage, which showed Africans building their ‘bright future’ under the supervision of Soviet specialists. I sat down at the editing table, putting the first African presidents alongside Soviet export goods, and juxtaposing a rocket bearing the ever-smiling expression of Yuri Gagarin with the many busts of Lenin that decked the offices of Soviet leaders, a wise and cautious expression on his face. These images surrounded me since childhood, and still do now: many streets in Russian towns and villages bear the name of Lenin to this day. For some reason, nobody ever questions this. While immersed in the footage shot by Soviet filmmakers in Africa, I suddenly asked myself: why does all this familiar scenery look so staged and contrived after being transferred, unchanged, to foreign soil. Soviet marketing and advertising, embedded in the rhetoric of independence of a number of African nations, is an area that has yet to be explored and which is deserving of attention.

Selected in the following festivals :
- DOKer. Moscow International Documentary Film Festival, Moscow (Russia), 2022
- Nyon International Documentary Film Festival "Visions du réel", Nyon (Switzerland), 2022

Photos and videos