Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones is worthwhile and tells of Soviet industrialisation, dictatorship, the early thirties starvation in the Ukraine and efforts to bring about USA recognition of the Soviet Union – all through an adventure of a former Lloyd-George policy advisor.

Worth seeing. Wiki. Guardian.

My criticism – too many of the scenes are a tad cryptic, one or two of the scenes a bit cliched and the walk through mid-Winter Ukraine was more purposeful than initially portrayed.

Turns out Gareth Jones was to become well known and initially highly mourned, before he was written out of history in a 1984-way (by of all people, Malcolm Muggeridge, who had also worked to expose the starvation in the Ukraine).
It’s possible even that Mr. Jones, the farmer in Animal Farm, is named after him, in an act of remembrance (rather than equivalence) by George Orwell. (It seems the starvation of the animals in Animal Farm is more specific than the general failure of Animalism I’d understood it to be – the nine animals dying representing 9 million Ukrainians).

With this film comes the challenge of the rights and wrongs of recognising the Soviet Union then and today’s equivalent challenge of how to work with China whilst it remains a dictatorship and when a million or so Muslims are being locked up.

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