Born in the USSR follows the lives of people who grew up in the Soviet Union. They give an insight into Russian life.

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: To Be Determined

Runtime: 75 minutes

Premier: 1991-05-28

Born in the USSR - Le Corbusier in the USSR - Netflix

Le Corbusier had a short relationship with the Soviet Union, starting with his first trip to Moscow in 1928, and ending with the rejection of his proposal for the Palace of the Soviets in 1932. Nevertheless, the short-lived relationship had consequences that went beyond Le Corbusier’s time in the USSR. Before his trip to Moscow, Le Corbusier was already an influential figure within the Soviet field of architecture. In 1922, Moisei Ginzburg, founder of the Constructivist movement, published materials from Le Corbusier’s “Towards a New Architecture,” and in 1924 published his own book, similar to Le Corbusier’s, titled Style and Epoch, which became to a central text to the Constructivist movement. Likewise, Corbusier’s projects were frequently published and analyzed as examples for the young generation of Soviet architects to use as inspiration. When Le Corbusier died in 1965, the official newspaper of the Soviet Union, Pravda, stated in its obituary, “Modern architecture has lost its greatest master.” This statement suggests the importance of Le Corbusier’s architecture and urbanism in the Soviet Union.

Born in the USSR - The Atmosphere of Moscow - Netflix

Le Corbusier left Moscow in 1928 with a positive view of the Soviet Union. Indeed, his time there would prove influential in the development of his own theories on architecture and urban planning. In 1930, in his Precisions on the Present: State of Architecture and City Planning, Le Corbusier included a report on his observations of Moscow, written en route back to Paris from Moscow. In this report, Le Corbusier reflects on the Five Year Plan and the “green city” plan that the Constructivist architects had developed. The Five Year Plan required the development of many industrializing projects. Reflecting on the five-year plan, Le Corbusier stated that it presented a battery firing modern technology. Moscow, as he saw it, was a factor for making plans. In his eyes, the development of plans for new buildings in the Soviet Union were being done through whatever means that brought progress. Reflecting on the difference between the profession of architecture in Paris and Moscow, Le Corbusier highlights the superfluous involvement of the youth in the Soviet Union, while in France and other parts of Europe, omnipotent academicism prohibited the youthful from the competitiveness of invention. With such youthful, inventive spirit, as Le Corbusier analyzes, the constructivist developed innovative planning schemes. The “green town,” as he analyzes in “Atmosphere of Moscow,” was born out of the necessity of a rest period, introduced by the USSR as a response to the constant labor. The rest period would come on the fifth day of the week, in this way suppressing Sunday’s traditional role. The green town was then created to provide the space in which such rest would be carried out. Capable of housing 100,000 people at once, the green town would in 15 days provide rest for the entire population of Moscow, (1.5 million), in accordance with the rotation of the rest period every 5 days. Additionally, the town would also house for periods of two weeks to a month city officials or workers taking their annual vacation. The city would also be a space for the ill “from work” to find sanatoria. Beyond this, Le Corbusier also elaborates on the collaborative living that such a city requires: a collective farm would provide food for the entire city; people would live in hostel-type program with common rooms; people would be separated by age, providing different recreational programs for each group. These observations would later serve as the basis for his “Response to Moscow,” as well as his elaboration of the Radiant City.

Born in the USSR - References - Netflix