Show Business: Simulating Siberia

The men are suffering. Ice forming on their eyebrows, in their nostrils, their facecloths wet with breath and at the edges crusted with ice.

How do you get actors to follow such script instructions convincingly? Casper Wrede, the British producer and director of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, has a simple solution: make them cold and miserable. For the filming of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's bleak novel about Stalin's political prisoners, Wrede persuaded a former inmate of a Soviet prison camp, now living in Paris, to make drawings from which a grimly authentic...

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