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Within the Whirlwind is a 2009 film directed by Marleen Gorris and based on the book by Eugenia Ginzburg. It stars Emily Watson and Pam Ferris.[1] Watson has described the film as "the most stretching thing I’ve done as a mature actress."[2]

Within the Whirlwind
Within the Whirlwind FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byMarleen Gorris
Written byNancy Larson
StarringEmily Watson
Release date
  • September 18, 2009 (2009-09-18) (Gdynia Polish Film Festival)
  • May 5, 2011 (2011-05-05) (Germany)
Running time
98 minutes


During Joseph Stalin's Great Purge, literature professor Evgenia Ginzburg is falsely convicted of anti-Soviet agitation and sentenced to 10 years hard labor in a Soviet concentration camp. Having lost everything, and no longer wishing to live, she meets Dr. Anton Walter (Ulrich Tukur), a Crimean German political prisoner who is a camp doctor in Kolyma. He recommends her for a position as a nurse in the camp infirmary. They fall in love and, slowly, Evgenia begins to come back to life.



Within the Whirlwind has not been picked up for distribution. According to Watson, "It was delivered pretty much the day the market crashed so nobody was buying anything. You have to be very Zen. Walk away and say: 'I have no idea what’s going to happen and it’s not in my hands.’ At the same time you never quite think that’s going to happen."[2]


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