Introducing Rhea Clyman: a woman in search of truth in the 1930’s

The life and work of a remarkably brave young woman who reported on events in both the Soviet Union and Germany in the 1930’s, slipped into the shadows of history.  Her fascinating story is now being rediscovered! Screenings of a new film are coming up on both the East and West coasts in November. Also, check out these resources, including the great new DVD, several articles, and a video presentation on YouTube.

See the screenings of Hunger for Truth:  The Rhea Clyman Story; Buy the DVD!

Hunger for Truth:  The Rhea Clyman Story. DVD. Directed by Andrew Tkach; produced by the Canada Ukraine Foundation. 50 min. Released 20117.  Trailer

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“…this courageous young reporter… then 28 years old, set out by car from Moscow and drove through Eastern Ukraine, where she witnessed the man-made famine known as the Holodomor.  She was among just a few journalists to report the story, and her vivid accounts remain an invaluable testament to the starvation and suffering that ravaged the Ukrainian countryside.”   Riveting production using novel 3D technology.

Headline photo from the Evening Toronto Telegram, May 8, 1933, p. 1. When Miss Clyman faced a high Soviet official in Moscow and demanded the real reason for her expulsion, he replied: “Truth―does it matter? Is it constructive?” Courtesy The Day, Kyiv


Unstoppable hunger for truth” by Maria Prokopenko. The Day (Kyiv), May 25, 2017.     Interview with Director Andrew Tkach, that discusses the making of the film, including it’s technical innovations by media artist Alexei Terkhov; Clyman’s motives for traveling in Russia and Ukraine, the challenges of dealing with propaganda then and now, and how Tkach wanted to show the links to the current war in Ukraine today:  “I was looking for a story that would show the current conflict and the price paid by people trying to stop it. After all, this conflict with Russia has effectively continued for many years, “  Tkach says.

“‘Hunger for Truth: The Rhea Clyman Story’ tells how brave Canadian journalist wrote about Holodomor,” by Brian Bonner.  Kyiv Post, June 29, 2018.  Brief background to the film and its story.

Rhea Clyman, Jars Balan Presentation  at Limmud FSU, Canada, March 25, 2017, sponsored by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter.  on YouTube: 52 min, incl brief intro.

Presentation on the life and work of Canadian journalist Rhea Clyman, placed in the context of some very interesting information about the reporting on the Soviet Union during the early 1930’s.  As Jars Balan points out, the aim of the Soviet authorities and propagandists was to sow doubt, thus making criticism suspect. Strong lesson for today.

Rhea Clyman: A Forgotten Canadian Eyewitness to the Hunger of 1932,” by Jars Balan. Published online in Ukraina Moderna , November 22, 2014.

Summarizes the life and Soviet reporting of the young Moscow-based correspondent for the Toronto Telegram, Rhea Clyman. She was kicked out of the Soviet Union in late 1932, accused of writing defamatory articles about the conditions she witnessed during a 5,000 mile trip through parts of Russia, Ukraine, the North Caucasus and Georgia. To read a transcription of  8 articles that appeared in the Toronto Evening Telegram , go to this link: . The articles, in English,  appear AFTER the Ukrainian language introduction.

Writer Witnessed the Horrors of Prewar Soviet Union,” by Bill Gladstone. Canadian Jewish News, December 29, 2015.

Article briefly describes  the remarkable life and reporting of Rhea Clyman: “Clyman wrote rare and chilling eyewitness accounts of the Soviet Union’s government-induced famine in the Ukraine known as the Holodomor. She also travelled to Murmansk through treacherous terrain by automobile and train, and exposed the inhumane conditions of gulags and labour camps in Russia’s far north.”