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Did you know that William F. Buckley, Jr., considered The Lives of Others the best film he had seen in many years?

Did you know that the central accomplishment of the film, is that while true tales of communist regimes slaughtering 2 million here(Cambodia), 30 million there(Mao’s 1958 famine), and giving countless millions of others the Gulag treatment do capture the attention, The Lives of Others is able to portray how effective, how demoralizing, and how corrupting in every sense of the word was the statistically more-benign soft totalitarianism employed by the “post-Stalinist” and fairly consolidated communist regimes of 1960-1989, particularly in Europe.  You might not be shot, Gulag-ed, nor ever physically tortured if you questioned the regime, but other ways would be found to grind you down into submission.

And did you know that this sort of oppression continues in Cuba to this day? Jacob Mchangama has a report on the present scene , an only apparently sunny one, complete with young Cuban women having an oddly intense affinity for elderly European touristos with fat wallets, over at NRO.

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