USSR is a promotional film from Pan American World Airways, produced and directed by Henry Strauss (most likely in the late 1960s), that encourages tourism to the Soviet Union by taking viewers on a visual tour of a number of the republics and their cities. The film opens with footage of Moscow’s Red Square as the narrator recaps the famous rulers, writers, and musicians from the Russia’s past. The size of the USSR, with its diverse climate and people, make it a destination unlike any other. The tour begins in Kiev, with the Pechersk Monastery (03:15), also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, which features catacombs that are over 800 years old. Other highlights of Kiev include Sophiyska Square and its Hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky Monument (03:38), Saint Sophia’s Cathedral (03:44), Kiev’s city skyline (04:01), and a bridge over the Dnieper River (04:08). In the east of the Soviet Union is the ancient city of Tashkent; the Uzbek republic is predominantly Muslim, and worshipers pray on the streets of Tashkent (04:20). Tashkent’s Old Quarter (05:35) is a great place to visit, but the modern areas of the city (06:00) have their own treasures, such as the Navoi Opera Theater (06:14). The next stop is Moscow, where the famed Red Square separates several of the country’s top highlights, like the Kremlin (06:18), St. Basil’s Cathedral (07:01) and its square (06:42). The city of Riga features old-but-aesthetic buildings (07:30), but more ornate buildings are found in Leningrad (08:18). Formally known as St. Petersburg (08:01), this city is home to the Russian Museum (08:24), the Hermitage Museum (08:32)—which features works from da Vinci, El Greco, van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir, and Picasso—and the Winter Palace (09:08) filled with the riches of the Romanovs. Viewers see scenes of streets, train stations, and children before the film returns to Uzbekistan, where children learn traditional dances (11:48) and men harvest cotton from the Fergana Valley (12:48). Farming is a primary industry in the soil-rich Don Valley (13:30) of Ukraine. Ukraine’s Chernozem, its famous black earth, is excellent for cultivating wheat and other crops. Collective farms (13:56) are common throughout the region, and members of the collectives go to the main cities to sell their harvests. Bustling food and flower markets (15:50) are a staple of the Soviet Union. The people here enjoy passing time in the various public gardens (16:25), but arguably their favorite pastime is vacationing to the Black Sea (17:20). Odessa (16:30), Yalta (18:05), and Sochi highlight the Soviet Riviera, where locals and visitors can relax on the beaches or keep busy with watersports and the offerings of the coastal cities. The film’s next stop is Tbilisi (20:43), the capitol of the Georgian republic. Rustaveli Ave (20:49), named after the famous poet, is the main throughfare of the city. Streets of the Old City (21:37) and Metekhi Castle overlooking the Mtkavri River (22:01) are just two of many places to visit in Tbilisi. The U.S.S.R. is a land of great rivers, and the film provides footage of a number of them (22:25). A boatride down the Neva River leads to Petergof (23:08), former home of the gardens of the Czars that are now public gardens (23:16), featuring an extraordinary number of fountains. A shot of Moscow from the Moskva River (24:26) takes viewers back to Moscow, home to Moscow State University (25:12) and the Bolshoi Theatre (26:04). Gorky Street and Moscow at night (27:00) provide endless entertainment; restaurants, theatres, a Bolshoi Theatre performance (27:25), movies, and the circus (28:08). Gorky Park (28:58), Moscow’s park of culture and leisure, features games and food, a favorite for locals. The film shows a national parade (29:35) in Moscow’s Red Square in November, featuring representatives from all the republics of the U.S.S.R. The final montage sequence of the film includes people strolling around Red Square, playing cards, spending an afternoon at a café, and scenery from earlier in the film.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com