Photo by Tod Seelie

At the end of 2020, Liz Truss, a UK government minister, shocked some, and amused others, by mentioning the famous French philosopher Michel Foucault in a highly unusual speech. “While we were taught about racism and sexism, — the Tory minister said, — there was too little time spent making sure everyone could read and write. These ideas have their roots in postmodernist philosophy — pioneered by Foucault — that puts societal power structures and labels ahead of individuals and their endeavours. …


The Death of Democracy is yet to be announced.

“And when they say ‘peace and security’, then the world will be lost”, Paris 2018

Man is not born free (sorry, Rousseau): we are not free to choose the circumstances of our birth and may be born into poverty, slavery or a country at war — and then, anyway, will spend our whole lives being lied to, and lying.

What if such maxim had been a default position in our worldview? Would humanity not stand a better chance of solving the philosophical and political problems it has tried and failed to solve for centuries?

Men have been afraid to postulate anything of the kind. The first one to do it would be accused of cynicism…


Один печально известный западный политик XX века сформулировал одну простую мысль: Запад сможет поддерживать свой высокий жизненный уровень только за счет остального мира, который должен жить на более низком уровне. Он, Адольф Гитлер, не проорал это толпе в качестве лозунга или гиперболы, а рационально изложил на встрече с немецкими промышленниками и предпринимателями. Уже после падения берлинской стены и распада СССР выдающийся драматург и интеллектуал Хайнер Мюллер сказал, что Гитлер, по сути, победил, потому что победила его идея, что в мире “на всех не хватит”.

Без малого тридцать лет спустя прилетевший из Германии, но тут же арестованный оппозиционный российский политик, по…


Ten years ago, when I first thought of making a film about Sergei Magnitsky, hardly anyone in the West had heard of him. On November 18th 2020, at an online event organised by prominent MEPs, Magnitsky’s name reverberated with fame and glory; the glory of a martyr, in the tradition of Giordano Bruno, or Martin Luther King.

From studio shoot in Kiev. © Piraya Film AS

The event reached its political climax when Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, pronounced Magnitsky’s name as a symbol of Europe’s retaliation against corruption and violence going on outside of the EU. And there was another man the President…


Мы, русские, всегда чего-то ждали. Даже у самых циничных и прагматичных из нас, всегда было какое-то сокровенное ожидание, идеальное видение какого-то будущего, где-то не здесь, где-то там… Это было и в героях чеховских пьес, и в советской интеллигенции, и остаётся, несмотря на прозу капитализма, в русской душе до сих пор.

Есть мнение, что первородный грех, или врожденный дефект, новой (постсоветской) России в том, что общество пассивно получило радикальные изменения сверху, а не активно боролось за них снизу. …


The virus propaganda begging the question

Lai Li/Xinhua/Alamy Live News

“Nothing is more free than the imagination of man, and though it cannot exceed the original stock furnished by the internal and external senses, it has unlimited power of mixing, compounding, separating and dividing these ideas in all the varieties of fiction and vision. It can feign the train of events with all the appearance of reality, ascribe to them a particular time and place, conceive them as existent and paint them out to itself with every circumstance that belongs to any historical fact which it believes with the greatest certainty.”

To me, David Hume, who wrote those words, has…

Andrei Nekrasov

film director

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