52 min,

74 min

In development

The Long War

The Trans Syrian Express

Directing: Alina Rudnitskaya


Organized by the Ministry of Defence and by the personal order of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, the train exhibition “Syrian Breakthrough” transports the spoils of war from Syria around the country. The train stopped at all the major cities in Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok, from Vladivostok to Murmansk and then back again to Moscow. 62 cities in all.
Two-hour exhibitions took place directly on the railway tracks at the stations. The convoys comprised of twenty wagons with 500 pieces of military hardware which the Russian soldiers had “seized from the terrorists” in Palmyra, Aleppo and Deir-ez-Zor. Among the exhibits were pilotless drones, improvised explosive devices (IED’s), grenades, mines, food rations, chemical weapons specimens and goods from the army surplus store.
For the visitors were offered military orchestras, song and dance ensemble performances and food from food kitchens. During the exhibition mobile army recruitment points were there at the railway stations for people to join up to become professional soldiers.
The train with the spoils of war from Syria is an attempt to create a new, modern myth about the resurrection of Russia’s military power. If earlier we saw only the virtual achievements, but now the train is started to be a visual demonstration of power and strength. They have to Fix their Greatness. For me this is the dangerous way in real war. The way to turn a fictional war into a real war. Yet the militarization of attitudes in the country robs people of their future.
I would like to show ordinary life of these people. How they live in their everyday surroundings.
The train will connect many ordinary life human stories.
This documentary ‘road movie’ carefully explores how people’s attitudes changed after they visited this unusual travelling exhibition of trophy weapons. Was the “Syrian Breakthrough” tour some kind of catalyst for people in Russia in making decisions for them and their children’s future.


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