DIRECTORKaufman, Brian
TITLECitizen Kurchatov: Stalin's Bomb Maker
DISTRIBUTOROregon Public Broadcasting
RUNNING TIME56 minutes

This film details the former Soviet Union’s atomic program, headed by the Russian physicist Igor Vasilevich Kurchatov. It examines Stalin’s rise to power and how his tyrannical regime affected Russian scientists, including Kurchatov, who were on a deadline for atomic success. Interviews with political scientists, Russian physicists, co-workers, and historians present the view that Kurchatov was an ambitious man who recognized that “fear and opportunity went hand in hand”. The film depicts his role of organizing and managing Stalin’s atomic bomb program as one of intense risk and pressure. Espionage reports from America are stressed as being of key importance to Kurchatov’s success in developing the Soviet Union’s atomic bomb. The last part of the film discusses Kurchatov’s fears about a possible nuclear holocaust; however, it also states that he continued to encourage development of the hydrogen bomb, which was more destructive than previous bombs. A companion website is located at

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