An Ordinary Execution

Joseph Stalin's death is shrouded in mystery. This Russian film (English captions) posits an interesting scenario.

We are in post-war Russia with KGB operatives picking up suspects, soliciting denunciations and causing disappearances. No one feels exempt from their reach. This can be felt in a medical facility where an attractive young doctor refuses the attentions of a coworker. She can only hope he doesn't deliver on his threat to cobble together some accusation and turn her in simply because he can.

When she is picked up by secret police, she is afraid it is because of the coworker, but instead it is because Joseph Stalin has heard of her "healing hands" and is seeking relief from chronic pain. Because Stalin doesn't want the Russian people to know he isn't in strapping good health, her entire life (and that of her husband) is compromised. She has been happily married to a physicist. For this reason, they have better than average living conditions, i.e., they have their tiny apartment to themselves, but she is shocked to learn that Stalin knows every little detail of their lives.

What follows is the crux of our story....