The Inner Circle (Ближний круг) is a 1991 Russian film by Andrei Konchalovsky based on the true story of Ivan Sanchin, the KGB officer who was the private film projectionist of Josef Stalin from 1939 until the dictator's death in 1953. Told from Sanchin's view, the sympathetic but tragically flawed hero maintains unwavering faith in his "Master" despite the arrest of his neighbors and his involvement with their daughter, his wife's affair with the chilling State Sec chief Lavrentii Beria and her tragic decline, and the deadly political machinations within the Kremlin he witnesses firsthand.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?
- Questionable Consent: Anastasya is taken away from her husband to be Beria's mistress. In their one scene together, she seems to be charmed by him and additionally, when she briefly sees her husband before they're separated, she doesn't seem overly distressed or claim she was raped, despite sex clearly having occurred. However, Beria is, historically, very well known to have been a prolific serial rapist and Anastasya later commits suicide rather than give birth to his child, having suffered extreme sanity slippage.
- Public Domain Character: Joseph Stalin and Lavrenti Beria.
- Public Domain Soundtrack: The songs "Shiroka strana moya rodnaya" and "Hello Country of Heroes" are heard, as well as excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique" and Chopin's Waltz in C Sharp Minor.
- Wicked Cultured: Stalin.