Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead.
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Sunday, 6 August 2006

The Relevance of Garri's Story in Today's World...

Garri Urban could be seen as just one of millions of people who suffered so terribly during a period of history which showed mankind's darkest nature, just another victim of the totalitarianism and extreme ideologies that swept across the world in the latter part of the 20th Century.... but it is clear from studying his life that Garri was a survivor, not a victim of the Holocaust and the Gulags.

With the troubles that are currently present in this world, and the issues that we all face in our everyday lives, there are lessons to be learnt from Garri's experience, issues that I feel it is important for us all to understand and share...

Garri's story has been told in his book, Tovarisch, I Am Not Dead and will also be available for all in the form of a documentary which was made about Garri by his son, Stuart Urban.

The documentary was created as father and son went in search of answers - to discover the truth behind imprisonment and torture.

Interviews with fellow survivors, friends, lovers and even with representatives of the secret police who imprisoned Garri and so many others were recorded over a period of 14 years and give an incredible insight into man's ability to cope with and overcome adversity.

The documentary draws on Garri's own work, home movies and years of video diaries recorded from 1992 when Garri ventured back into the former Soviet Union.

Having suffered so terribly and endured so much it would be easy to imagine that Garri, or indeed anybody else, would have simply been grateful to survive, yet throughout his life Garris struggled to maintain his core beliefs. A very detailed picture emerges of a man who feels compassion for his fellow man, whichever side of a conflict they may be on, and who will strive to make the standard of life better for all those around him in whatever way he can.

Garri Urban was an singular man - intelligent and loving with a determination to succeed and survive, but with the requisite toughness and charm to emerge unscathed from a machine which mangled so many millions. The documentary film explores the mysteries of the man, asking what it takes and what it means to be a survivor like Garri S Urban.

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