Poisoned by Polonium 2007 NR CC

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(35) IMDb 7.2/10
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"If anything should happen to me, I beg you to show this tape to the whole world." On November 23rd, 2006, these words, spoken on camera by exiled former KGB and FSB (post communist Russia's dreaded new secret police) agent Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko, became a gruesome self-fulfilling prophecy. After an agonizingly painful ordeal, Litvinenko succumbed to what was allegedly radiation poisoning from a lethal dose of toxic Polonium-210, surreptitiously slipped into his tea during a London meeting with two FSB ex-colleagues three weeks earlier. In POISONED BY POLONIUM: THE LITIVENKO FILE, filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov exposes the truth behind a crime that shocked the world and provoked a war of words between Russia and England that continues to this day.

Starring:
Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky
Runtime:
1 hour 45 minutes

Poisoned by Polonium

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Poisoned By Polonium: The Litvinenko File (Rebellion) (2007)

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Andrei Nekrasov
Starring Alexander Litvinenko, Boris Berezovsky
Supporting actors André Glucksmann, Marina Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, Anna Politkovskaya, Vladimir Putin
Studio Kino International
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Story complex and difficult to follow.
Debra S. Clausen
More than an examination of the Livtivenko case, this documentary probes the foundations of post-Soviet Russia and sheds light on its leader's criminal ambitions.
Yannis Toussulis
With this unlimited access, Nekrasov was able to interview Litvinenko at great length for the several years leading up to his death.
Roland E. Zwick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JC on December 11, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
The bit entitled Exotic Tea is alone worth the price to see the film. I have wondered about this mysterious death for 6 years and only a Russian could have made this film. There was so much information packed into it about issues we in the West don't have access to - I had to keep rewinding it in places to make sure I understood what was being disclosed. Especially poignant was the time spent with the courageous assassinated journalist Anna Politkovskaya - another person I have often wondered about. I so appreciate Mr. Nekrasov's efforts on behalf of his friend, and to Amazon to making this film available.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Roland E. Zwick on August 26, 2010
Format: DVD
Anyone who believes that government-sanctioned repression and political skullduggery ended in Russia with the collapse of the Soviet Union - and the attendant dissolution of the KGB - will find much to disabuse them of that notion in "Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File," a disturbing and eye-opening look at what life is like in that recently "liberated" country.

Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko was, of course, the outspoken critic of the Putin government whose death by polonium poisoning in 2007 made international headlines. Litvinenko's "crimes" went beyond mere criticism of policy, however; an ex-KGB agent himself, he accused the FSB - the Russian secret service, a direct descendant of the old KGB - of being behind the terrorist bombings that rocked Moscow in 1999, bombings that he and others claimed were done for the express purpose of ramping up public outrage against the Chechens whom the government knew would be blamed for the atrocities. It was Litvinenko's "insider" knowledge and willingness to speak out despite tremendous risk to himself and his family that led activist filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov to seek out and befriend him. With this unlimited access, Nekrasov was able to interview Litvinenko at great length for the several years leading up to his death. He even got to film him as he lay dying in a hospital room in London, where Litvinenko had been granted political asylum. It is these interviews that make up the bulk of Nekrasov's informative and shocking film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By m4tch on November 15, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The opening starts with accusations of the FSB running extortion cases against its own countrymen and employed officials for bribes and illegal sales of drugs, weapons, court verdicts, job promotions and more! This is a very interesting documentary about the internal struggles in Russia during the 1990s and into the 2000s of the people, government officials and government agencies. Russia’s thirst for absolute power over its people and greed for money just goes to show how far corruption will go and the true price of justice. An example from the film states: the KGB was recruiting students as informants just so they could pass information on of other students who ridiculed the politicians or USSR. This was then taken a step further when KGB and FSB members were ordered to arrest, torture and imprison many of Russia’s own citizens. (Almost 50% of the adult population in Russia has served time in prison). I’m sure everyone could agree that this is simply a devastating and unacceptable state of affairs, in particular if you're a citizen of Russia.
I would recommend this documentary if you’re curious about some of the political and economical history behind the USSR. If you are at all familiar with the political struggles throughout this country’s history, it is really no surprise that it’s muddled with so much ongoing corruption. The information is sadly accurate, the interviews, news and b-role footage are executed well, just be aware that majority of this film is in English subtitles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yannis Toussulis on April 17, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
More than an examination of the Livtivenko case, this documentary probes the foundations of post-Soviet Russia and sheds light on its leader's criminal ambitions. The picture that emerges is quite alarming, and especially so since Russia's economy and political standing is enormous, symbolized for example by its membership in the BRICS. It seems like the old apartchiks of the Soviet period have morphed into a new and possibly more dangerous form, one that exceeds the American mafiosi because of its access to state power and particularly so because of its access to a sophisticated state security apparatus which used to be part of the KGB. This film should not be missed by anyone interested in history, politics, human rights, and current affairs.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Constantine Papadakis on March 15, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Maybe Alexander was not a great Russian thinker, but he certainly experienced, knew-well, thought and brazenly spoke-out against the criminal impunity ordained upon the FSB special political force by the Russian elitist bureaucracy: a civil mutation not unique to Russia by any means. He was no doubt a brave operative. The FSB and its criminal special interests can be found in any regime where the horizontal diffusion of power and the rule of law are absent or suppressed... and beyond!

I found the backstory of how this particular organization was employed against dissenters from a soical-political standpoint quite interesting. The role of the FSB in orchestrating the Moscow Bombings and other terror actions was a horrible possibility, certainly the suspicious dead bodies of FSB operatives found at the scene elevates the plausibility.

This video was entertaining to watch and both sad as it becomes obvious how the state can easily and effortlessly eat its own, or otherwise engineer broader social dysfunction in order to protect its criminal sovereignty.
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