Citizen Jones in Moscow – Siukum Balal’s blog

Information flashed today in the living room that there were scuffles and scuffles at the screening of the movie “Citizen Jones”. It is not known who commissioned the action, although if the event took place in Moscow, it is known who commissioned it. Therefore, a short reminder – for those who have not seen the film – who the title character of the film was and why the screening of the film, which went unnoticed at festivals and cinemas in Europe, was treated in such a strange way. Maybe the topic was screwed up?

If so, it’s a shame, because the story of Gareth Richard Vaughan Jones is so exciting and so incredible that if it hadn’t really happened, you’d be hard-pressed to believe it ever happened. Because it is hard to imagine that in Stalinist Russia of the 1930s such journalistic journeys as those undertaken by this intelligent, sensitive, brave and noble Welshman, Gareth Jones, were possible. It is a story about the power of inspiration, about all the stories of grandparents, grandmothers, mothers and fathers, what everyone carries inside, what sometimes pushes us into the unknown, what often determines our lives, often makes us who we are. Maternal inspirations turned out to be tragic for Gareth Jones, but living in the truth, being faithful to the truth, serving the harmed, persecuted and starved, this life – albeit short – has its value. The story of Gareth Jones began with his mother’s story about an extraordinary, distant land, somewhere – for a Welshman – in another cosmos.


Gareth Jones with his family. The year 1930

Gareth’s mother, Annie Gwen, worked as a governess in the family of Welsh industrialist steel magnate Arthur Hughes. The founder of the dynasty, John James Hughes, is also excellent material for a separate film. John James Hughes, a well-known Welsh industrialist from the steel industry, receives a concession from the Tsar in 1868 to build a steel mill in Russia, and he does an extraordinary thing. He comes along with a hundred Welsh specialists – steel workers, miners and bricklayers, and in a short time he erects a metallurgical plant in a complete wasteland, which still exists today under the familiar name of Donetsk, formerly Stalino, and even earlier – in honor of the founder – Hughesovka. The business in Hughesovka is going great and soon over 70% of Russian steel production will come from here. To the enthusiasts of the economic achievements of Tsarist Russia, and even more so of Soviet Russia, it may seem that they are all alone. Unfortunately, it was and is a wild country, the industry was created by Westerners. Magnitogorsk furnaces were created by the Americans, also the famous Stalingrad tractor factory, space achievements are a great merit of the von Braun technical team. This is the rope that Lenin mentioned, on which the Western bloodsuckers – the manufacturers – would almost hang out.

The mother’s stories about this Hughesovka, somewhere in distant Ukraine, will determine the life of Gareth Jones. He begins studies in Cambridge, and is diligently learning Russian, French and German. Russian, of course, necessary for a trip to Hughesovka, German will be useful later for the first interview, on board the “Richthofen” plane, with the newly elected German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. The interview is extremely prophetic because of the author’s statement:

– If this plane had crashed now, the history of Europe would have been different.

He finishes his studies with the first position, so there is no problem with choosing professional paths. Becomes David Lloyd Georg’s foreign policy advisor. Directly after graduation, he makes his first short trip to Hughesovka. He works as a freelancer for American and British newspapers at the same time.

At the beginning of the 1930s, there is talk of a famine in Ukraine in Europe. For now, the information is treated as gossip, although the case is known to diplomats. It’s just that great business is done with Soviet Russia – just like now. The grain from Ukraine goes to the elevators in Hamburg, Liverpool and Hull. Taiga wood, raw materials necessary for industry, sells the USSR also pearls of the national culture. The collections of Russian art are selling like hot cakes at auctions in Paris and London.

Nobody cares about spoiling this idyllic system, after all, in most European countries there is more or less strict censorship. This picture will be spoiled only by the uncompromising Gareth Jones. He made his second trip to Ukraine in the fall of 1931, and his travel reports have been published anonymously for the time being. Jones will make his third and final trip in early March 1933, after this trip, after reports of the famine in Soviet Russia, he will be banned from entering the USSR for life. Publications in the American and English press are shocking. It seems unlikely that there would be a famine on the Ukrainian black soil, the most fertile soils in Europe, and that in the 20th century, in the most progressive country in the world, cases of cannibalism would be registered. Only communism can do these things. The Kremlin cannot afford such accusations, so it engages useful idiots and the press that traditionally supports communism. However, another English journalist, Walter Duranty, the New York Times correspondent in Moscow, will turn out to be an ace up the Kremlin’s sleeve. Fed with caviar and crawfish by Litvinov, receiving hefty fees from the NKVD, he was a de facto Soviet agent with special rights. A villain from the dark star, but a gifted journalist, a good pen, a Pulitzer Prize winner will discredit Gareth Jones’ accounts to the very end, contrary to the facts. Jones himself will be overwhelmed by his life with the communist system. Kidnapped for ransom, during a journalistic journey through Manchuria, he will be murdered on August 12, 1935, on the eve of his 30th birthday. His comrade, a German citizen, was released by the bandits, which makes it very probable that the NKVD paid for the execution.

Agnieszka Holland stipulates that the film is not a historical film. There are many references to the present day in the film.

The film is said to be an accusation of contemporary media, their blending with politics, their manipulation, which is unbelievable nowadays, the lies they serve us every day, their venality. It is also an accusation of all totalitarianisms. Or is it just a settlement with Henryk Holland?

He served totalitarianism with a fervor that cannot be found. After all, he completed his service as a political commissar. The journalistic and writing episode did not bring glory either. Disgusting publications about the Polish independence underground, about the Home Army, about people who died defending freedom, just like Gareth Jones. Shameful reports from the Hungarian Stalinist trials. With all this, some denunciations on the academic community, some denunciations on prof. Tatarkiewicz is a piece of cake. And that some people want to see him as a victim of communism, well, the gang war within the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party inevitably led to such events. Therefore, whose account it is with, the viewer should find out for himself after watching the film, after digging into the references that the director says about Holland.


Source: Salon24.pl: Strona główna by www.salon24.pl.

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