The Russian Revolution of 1917 is one of the most controversial events of the 20th century. Three men – Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin – emerged from obscurity to forge an entirely new political system. In the space of six months, they turned the largest country on earth into the first Communist state. Was this a triumph of people power or a political coup d’etat that led to blood-soaked totalitarianism? A hundred years later, the Revolution still sparks ferocious debate. This film dramatizes the 245 days that brought these men to supreme power. As the history unfolds, a stellar cast of writers and historians, including Martin Amis, Orlando Figes, Helen Rappaport, Simon Sebag-Montefiore and China Mieville, battle over the meaning of the Russian Revolution and explore how it shaped the world we live in today.
Critic's choice: This one-off special... proves that, if done well, [semi-dramatized documentary] can we a powerful form of storytelling... This is a grown-up documentary that does not claim history to be black and white.