Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead review

Brit director Stuart Urban didn't have to look beyond his own dad - enigmatic gulag and Holocaust survivor Garri Urban - to find a worthy doco subject. The domineering and charismatic ex-ladies' man, imprisoned for a wartime escape-bid from the Soviet Union, returned to Moscow with his son in 1992 to recover his KGB file and revisit past ghosts, including his former lover. Video diaries from the trip are spliced with interviews and archive footage, but lack of personal distance means the shocking revelations are so sloppily shot and edited we miss much of their impact. Stuart's teacherly narration grates in its starry-eyed bluster, though things get more intriguing when he comes to question his father's image, a missing part of Garri's file hinting he may have even been a counter-collaborator.

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