About the Film
Between Two Fires, a documentary produced at Regent University, exposes American involvement in one of World War Two's best kept secrets: Russian antiCommunists were held on American soil, and America agreed to forcibly repatriate them, placating Stalin, but committing an egregious violation of the Geneva Convention Agreement.
Hopeless in the wake of America's decision to send them back to the Soviet Union, Ignat Nasarenko, Feokist Kalinin, and Felip Sbotow hanged themselves at Fort Dix, New Jersey on June 29, 1945. Director, Douglas Smith opens Between Two Fires with a focus on these three men, then pans the camera through time to explain why they chose suicide over Stalin.
The prisoners' resistance, as the film shows, reflected similar predicaments and reactions throughout Europe where millions of anti-Communists were repatriated between 1945 and 1947. A similar attempt by Count Nikolai Tolstoy to expose the truth about forced repatriation occurred in Great Britain, resulting in a slander suit.
Smith establishes the nature and scope of disenchantment Russian citizens had for the Soviet Union, and their gripping fear of Stalin through interviews; archival still photographs; archival motion pictures; and motion picture reenactments based upon archival testimony. This disenchantment precipitated a willingness to join Nazi Germany's war effort where prisoners were captured by the United States Army, and subsequently repatriated, as in the case at Fort Dix, to Stalin.
These Russians became barter for thousands of American soldiers and airmen who fell into Soviet hands during the war. While some Americans were never returned, Stalin directed the murder, torture, and imprisonment of the repatriates America traded. Between Two Fires eloquently explores the predicament of men trapped in circumstances beyond their control, circumstances best summed by one interviewee as a classic case study of moral ambiguity and the world of politics.
It has been awarded a Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary from the New York International and Independent Film and Video Festival, a CINE Eagle, First Place at Lamar University's Spindle Top Festival, selected for screening at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, and awarded a student Oscar at the 27th Annual Student Academy Awards sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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