Terry Catchpole
July 26, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

I Was Stalin's Bodyguard

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Historical, Documentary

We gave it a B+

One of history’s most influential and least-known leaders is the focus of I Was Stalin’s Bodyguard, a Soviet-produced, self-described ”experiment in documentary mythology” that is equally as engrossing as its subject. In a vivid, sometimes rambling interview, longtime Stalin watchdog Alexei Rybin limns the Bolshevik big guy as a celibate, paranoid schemer who loved opera, loathed the trappings of power, and expired in agony as KGB boss Laurent Beria refused to summon doctors. This piece of perestroika-era Stalin-debunking is as close as we’re likely to get to the master architect of the Soviet state. B+

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