About the Film:
Oscar winning writer/director Alex Gibney’s revelatory CITIZEN K is an intimate yet sweeping look at post-Soviet Russia from the perspective of the enigmatic Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former oligarch turned political dissident. Benefitting from the chaos that ensued after the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., Khodorkovsky was able to amass a fortune in financing and oil production and became the richest man in Russia. But when he accused the new Putin regime of corruption, Khodorkovsky was arrested, his assets were seized and following a series of show trials, he was sentenced to more than ten-years in prison. Today, as an exile living in London, he continues to speak out against Putin’s two-decade stranglehold on power.
Expertly researched and photographed, Gibney uses Khodorkovsky’s story as a way to explore the complex interplay between oligarchy and government and its destructive effect on democracy, in Russia and beyond.
Note: A panel discussion will take place following the Feb. 11 debut show.
Natalya Arapov was born in former Soviet Union- Ukraine and is a graduate of the Pedagogical Institute of Ukraine. She holds a Master Degree in Teaching. She moved to the United States 20 years ago. She has been teaching Russian language for the past 10 years at RIT and also at various other high Education institutions in the Rochester area. She resides in Brighton with her 18 year old daughter, who is bilingual, along with their dog.
Dr. Eléna Rakhimova-Sommers is a Principal Lecturer in Russian Literature & Film at RIT. Dr. Sommers holds a BA in English from the Moscow State University, an MA Conflict Resolution from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Rochester.
Dr. Sommers’ research interests follow 2 separate tracks:
Track # 1is the study of Russian, government sponsored advertising incentivizing motherhood. Dr. Sommers’ study, “Your Stork Might Disappear Forever!,”was published in 2018 in the book titled, Cultural and Political Transformations in Putin’s Russia.
Track # 2and her real love (!) is the study of Vladimir Nabokov. Dr. Sommers’ edited volume, Nabokov’s Women: The Silent Sisterhood of Textual Nomads, was published in 2017. Her new book, Teaching Nabokov’s Lolita in the #MeToo Era, is coming out next year.