PEN WORLD CONGRESS - Moscow 2,000
PEN, the professional writers association, with over 15,000 members in 130 Centers worldwide, founded in 1921 by George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy and others, was forbidden in the former Soviet Union. In May 2000, despite protests by several Russian writers who feared it would serve to endorse the war in Chechnya, PEN held its World Congress for the first time in Moscow - attended by 200 delegates from 70 Centers. Aware of its historical significance, Robert Carl Cohen, whose documentaries include INSIDE RED CHINA-1957, INSIDE EAST GERMANY-1959 & THREE CUBANS-1964, produced this video record of that six day event. Highlights include the entire opening address by Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass, (In both German & an English translation) author of THE TIN DRUM, CAT & MOUSE, and other best-selling novels, & an exclusive interview with ex-Russian Navy Officer Alexander Nikitin. Fully acquitted by the St. Petersburg Court after three years in solitary confinement, Nikitin describes how Russia's military industrial complex had him imprisoned in 1996 and charged with Treason and Theft of State Secrets for daring to publish his suppressed report on the radiation hazard to the world's fisheries caused by the scuttling of Russian nuclear submarines in the Barents Sea. The program includes an insightful interview with U.S. Ambassador Jim Collins & the PEN Congress'"Final Resolution On The War In Chechnya" - the strongest public criticism of Russian policies ever made in that nation.
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