Barry Purkis

BBC   |   UK

This series reveals what life was like for ordinary people living under communism. What emerges is a picture that goes beyond the headlines of spies and surveillance, secret police and political repression to reveal an astonishingly rich tapestry of experience. The opening programme looks at East Germany where the communists claimed they were building 'a socialist paradise.' Barry Purkis's film research on The Lost World of Communism genuinely broke new ground in tapping into previously unseen archival sources in Eastern European: home movies from East Germany, communist party archives from Czechoslovakia, the personal archives of former dissidents in Romania, previously censored material from communist show trials, prime time television shows approved by the party, the list is extensive and varied. And, indeed, this copious and multivalent use of archive shed new light on 'ordinary' life behind the Iron Curtain and lay at the heart of this successful series.