Manchurian Sleepwalkers, a journey of memory. Film screening and talk by Thomas Lahusen

Thursday, October 12, 2017

5:00 pm

Franke Institute for the Humanities 

1100 East 57th Street


Manchurian Sleepwalkers, documentary film directed by Thomas Lahusen, 2017, 63 min.



With the passage of time, remembering becomes a form of sleepwalking. One-time émigrés of Manchuria and its legendary city, Harbin, take us on a journey of memory back to China. For many -- Russians, Poles, Germans and Japanese -- who left the country of the “last emperor” during the late 1940s and 50s, remembering borders on obsession. For Kumiko Muraoka, a Japanese-French poet, only forgetting alleviates the pain of having lost her childhood home.




Thomas Lahusen (PhD, Lausanne, Switzerland, is Professor at the Department of History and Centre of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. His research interests focus on the multi-faceted experiences of “real socialism” and other forms of “totalitarian” culture during the twentieth century. His publications include How Life Writes the Book: Real Socialism and Socialist Realism in Stalin's Russia (1997) and the following co-edited collections: Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s (1995), Socialist Realism without Shores (1997), What Is Soviet Now ? Identities, Legacies, Memories (2008), and a number of special journal issues, including “Harbin and Manchuria: Place, Space, and Identity” (South Atlantic Quarterly, 2001). He has also produced and directed several documentary films, including The Province of Lost Film (2006); Komsomolsk mon amour (2007); The Photographer (2008); The Interim Country (2010), In Search of Roubakine (2012), Screening from Within (2017) and Manchurian Sleepwalkers (2017), all produced by Chemodan Films, a Toronto-based documentary production company of which he is the co-owner and director (