Americans are used to seeing Soviet spies in Cold War films, but what did it look like from the other side? Tonight, learn about two beloved Soviet pop culture gems from 1973 which were each influenced by the KGB.
Erik Jens, National Intelligence University professor, will discuss Seventeen Moments of Spring, a TV miniseries about a Soviet spy in Nazi Germany. The series, commissioned by the KGB to rehabilitate its reputation, became an instant classic, and even now remains a Russian cultural touchstone. Indeed, KGB veteran Vladimir Putin launched his political career largely by adopting the persona of Russia’s most beloved fictional spy, “Stierlitz.”
Shana Oltmans, Spy Museum exhibition researcher, will discuss The Plainclothesman, a film based on the real life exploits of Dmitri Bystrolyotov, a dashing lady-killing spy for Stalin in the 1930s. Bystrolyotov sanitized his story to appease the KGB because the methods of seduction, blackmail, and bribery he described did not fit the image the KGB wanted to promote and went on to have a cameo in his own life story.