In Soviet Union, Bad Movie Watches You

From 1978 to 1990, Andrei Chikatilo murdered at least 52 women and children in Soviet Russia. Putting aside the grim fact that it’s fiendishly difficult to capture a serial killer under any circumstances, Chikatilo enjoyed a unique advantage. It was widely believed in Soviet circles that murder in general, and serial murder in particular, was a uniquely Western phenomenon that couldn’t possibly occur in the USSR. Blinded by ideology, investigators instead persecuted innocent homosexuals, believing homosexuality to be a dangerous mental illness. Good thing nothing like that ever happens here.

In 1995, HBO released the made-for-cable film Citizen x, a smart and compelling examination of Chikatilo’s crimes and the reasons why his spree lasted so long. It’s largely forgotten now, but it’s well worth digging up. Now we have Child 44, a film about a killer like Chikatilo. It should have stayed buried.

Based on a pretty darn good novel by Tom Rob Smith, Child 44 introduces us to Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy), an agent for the secret police. He and his wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) live in an expansive Moscow apartment, and Demidov spends his days tracking down traitors and dissidents. Understand that, in Soviet Russia, the concept of treason was …read more

Source:: Boulder: