A.G. Stakhanov in Gaumont Pathé’s Soviet Film Archives: Between Physical Performance and Instrumentalisation

Nadège Mariotti


The depiction of the miner A.G. Stakhanov in newsreels from the Gaumont Pathé archives highlights the representations of this physical performance used in the specific economic and political environment of the USSR during the interwar period. The Soviet worker is idealized as a national hero. At that time, the Soviet government was looking for the “New Man” and “new technical standards” (Stalin, 1977) and Stakhanov lost his individuality, becoming “only an official agent of the state” (Vigne, 1984). This article examines the evolution of the memory of Stakhanov’s record mining achievement, moving from a retrospective point of view to a celebration and finally to commemoration (Ory, 1992).

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