mr jones
Based on true events, Agnieszka Holland's 2019 film Mr. Jones tells the story of an English government functionary who, hot off the heels of interviewing Hitler in the early 1930's, tasked himself with going to Soviet Russia to interview Stalin. The story's protagonist, Gareth Jones, seeks to inform Stalin of Hitler's plans for European domination and plant the seeds of an alliance between England and the Soviet Union that could offset the Nazi party's plans. In the process, Jones learns that the Communist nation's rapid development is due in large part to the amount of grain it is extracting from the Ukraine. The scandal drives Jones on an odyssey and discovery of truth and horror as he learns of what later became known as the 'Holodomor famine'.

In this week's MindMatters show, we delve into the surrounding context and facts about Holodomor - and how despite his own shady background, Mr. Jones got the story right, unlike his shameless colleague at the New York Times, Walter Duranty. But like much of how history is presented in art, and elsewhere, the omission of crucial information also threatens to turn a story on its head and make it perfect fodder for contemporary propaganda - even decades after the fact. With that in mind we also discuss the implications of mass collectivization, the realities of a Communist political system, and how the film speaks, perhaps unwittingly, to many detrimental developments that we are now witnessing on the world stage. Historical events are often quite complicated, but with a nuanced examination of how history is told, and the real lessons that may be derived from it, we may better see where we are, and where we're going.


Running Time: 01:24:52

Download: MP3 — 77.7 MB


Sources: