A special place in Archive collection belongs to the documentaries of the period of World War II - newsreels, full-length films, made during and after the war. The total footage of 80,000 meters ( filmed by more than 200 front cameramen) - sequences of bitter losses and happy victories, great battles - of Moscow and Stalingrad, the Kursk Bulge, capture of Berlin; tragic sequences of destroyed towns and villages; the horror of concentration camps.
As early as February 18, 1942 the full-length film "The Crushing of Germans in the environs of Moscow" about the first serious defeat of the Germans arrived (filmmakers L. Varlamov and I. Kopalin). This film was considered to be the best documentary of the year (1942) by the American Academy of Cinematographic Art.
The cameramen worked on all fronts from the North Sea to the Black Sea; some of their films are: "69s Parallel" (1942) about sailor of the North Fleet, "Sailors of the Black Sea Fleet" (1942) about defenders of Odessa and Sevastopol.
15 cameramen filmed the great battle of Stalingrad between August and February 1943. Many of their sequences were included in the film "Stalingrad" (filmmaker L. Varlamov, 1943 ), where one can follow the battle from the beginning to the end.
Films by A. Dovzhenko " battle for Our Soviet Ukraine" (1943), "Victory on the Right-Bank Ukraine and Banishment of German Invaders out of the Soviet Ukrainian Lands" (1944). Later battles were also filmed and shown in the movie theaters in the newsreels, such as: "The Victory on the South", "Kennigsberg", "Vienna", "From Visla to Oder", The Liberated Czechoslovakia" and many others. Events of the last period of World War II were reflected in the film "The Destruction of Japan" (filmmakers Zarkhi and I. Kheifits).
The main subject of documentaries of the post-war period is the reconstruction of the wrecked national economy. The geography of filming was expanded - the Archive possesses materials about and from almost every region of the Soviet Union.
An interesting idea - to film different regions of the country on the same day was used by I. Kopalin and I. Setkina in the film "The Day of the Victor Country" (1948). About 100 cameramen did filming all over the country on August 14, 1947.
Soviet filmmakers tried to film the main events on every continent. Among them -"Liberated China" (filmmaker Gerasimov, 1950), "Victory of the Chinese People" (filmmaker L. Varlamov, 1950). Sequences of wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, events in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). The Archive also keeps the chronicles of the last events in Russia covering almost all spheres of politics, economy and culture.
In 1992 the Archive began to acquire documentary videotapes. Among them, - interviews of political leaders and performances of famous actors. Most videotapes are full-length films based on Archive materials: many series about Stalin - " The Monster" by Ivankin, "Andropov U.V. - Life Pages" by O. Uralov, "Romanov Dynasty" by V. Semenuk.