A friend recently asked me to provide her with a short description of what this film means to me and the community I hope to reach. I had written several outlines and project summaries already, but nothing that quite answered that question. So here it is, a short paragraph explaining how the film affects me, personally, and the effect I hope it will have the community at large.
First and foremost, “Cycles and Revolutions” is a personal project. It is an endeavor to educate myself on not only my family history but the history of the Jewish people of the former Russian and Soviet empires. My family left the Soviet Union in 1979 when I was five years old, and tried for the most part to leave that history behind. As I get older, and as my grandparents’ generation is disappearing, I find it more and more important to document their history – my history. As personal as this project is, my sincerest hope is that it reaches as wide an audience as possible because the Jewish participation in the Russian Revolution is an under-served topic. It was one of only a few times in history that the Jewish people took arms against their oppressors so dramatically, striving to take control of their destinies and secure a future for Jews and others alike. However, although it was largely the result of and reaction to persecution, it resulted, in many ways, in even more persecution. One thing it unarguably did, and which I hope to demonstrate to the community at large, was to alter the course of our history and nature of our identity.