Following last week’s Sotheby’s auction, the archives of Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky will soon be headed back to Russia. The collection amounts to “several thousand working manuscripts, personal photographs, recordings and private documents” and it sold for a whopping £1.5 million.
Speaking of that story from The Atavist we mentioned a moment ago: my favorite bit of US-USSR Space Race history is the fact that the US devoted upwards of $25 million to its chimpanzee research (that later launched Ham into orbit). That money went to training, research, feed, and veterinary care. On the other side of the world, the USSR’s space dog program — including Laika, Strelka and Belka — consisted exclusively of stray dogs the scientists found on their ways to work.
The VQR‘s last issue, “The Soviet Ghost,” was one of the most heart-wrenching reading experiences I’ve had in a long time. Now it’s got a series of video interviews with Chernobyl workers to seriously depress (and also greatly inform) you all over again.