Born on December 8th, 1930
From Vienna, Austria
Before Joseph Stalin (Robert Duvall) became dictator of Russia, he was an unknown revolutionary, according to his daughter, Svetlana (Joanna Roth), who narrates this biopic. Over the course of three decades, Stalin ruthlessly takes the seat of power from his comrade, a dying Vladimir Lenin (Maximilian Schell). He treats his wife (Julia Ormond) horribly and orders acts of aggression against his own citizens. Through it all, Stalin trusts no one, leading to his own eventual downfall and death.
During World War II, Reyzel Weiss (Kyra Sedgwick) escapes Poland and settles in America with her father, Mordecai (Maximilian Schell), believing that both her mother and her sister had become victims of the Holocaust. As an adult, she changes her name to Rose White and remains silent about her past. After almost 20 years, however, Rose learns that her sister, Lusia (Amanda Plummer), survived. Eventually, the two reunite, and Rose must finally face her painful memories and accept her heritage.
This Oscar-winning drama, based on the writing of Lillian Hellman, depicts the relationship between two friends and its unexpected consequences. After Lillian (Jane Fonda), a renowned playwright, reunites in Russia with her childhood playmate Julia (Vanessa Redgrave), the writer is recruited to smuggle funds into Germany to aid the anti-Nazi movement. Waiting in the wings is Lillian's lover and mentor, Dashiell Hammett (Jason Robards), who is unaware of her dangerous assignment.