The Holocaust was undoubtedly the lowest point in human history, but it’s worth remembering that the Nazis weren’t the only players in World War II who committed horrendous atrocities. There’s nothing that Joseph Stalin liked more than a good old purge. After the Soviets occupied and annexed the Baltic states, they instigated mass deportations of the indigenous population, often to remote and inhospitable areas. They then encouraged the immigration of Soviet citizens to take their place (and land), which still leads to recriminations today. Ashes in the Snow tells the story of one Lithuanian family’s forced eviction in 1941.
As the Soviet machine tears thought he Baltic region, undesirables, nationalists and ‘bandits’ are forcibly removed from their properties and face the long cold journey to Siberia. Lina (Bel Powley) is a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. Her world comes crashing down when she’s deported along with her mother (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and younger brother. Whilst her father is placed in a prison camp. The aspiring young artists must fight for survival whilst risking everything to document the experiences of herself and her fellow survivors.
Based on Ruta Sepetys’ best-selling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ashes in the Snow is a moving and powerful drama about one family’s struggle in the harshest of conditions. Director Marius A. Markevicius brings to life the torments and brutalists to life. Both for the soldiers and the exiles. Whilst Lina’s story might be just one of many, it stands as testimony to the wicked barbarism of the Stalinist regime. Ashes in the Snow brings the horror and suffering to life.
Ashes in the Snow is available of DVD and Digital HD from Signature Entertainment on 15 July.