Soviet Verite

Want to understand what life was like in the USSR? Visit Mosfilm, once one of the world’s largest film production studios. Imagine the old MGM lot: Russian-style. Impressively, visitors start off at huge soundstages of reconstructed cities and villages. (Oddly, there are two bikes on which Lenin and his wife traveled.) There’s also an estate made of cardboard that was used as a background by Sergei Bondarchuk in his 1968 War and Peace. And in the costume department are originals from Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible, which should bring you closer to grasping the complex relationship between art and the state in the century of the moving image—a world of fictions, factions, and very flexible history. It’s no accident that Lenin and Stalin were obsessed with cinema. At 1 Ulitsa Mosfilmovskaya, Bldg. 1; 7-495/143-9599.