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Post-Soviet Russian Media and Film (RUS 416R)
Liberated from communist ideology following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russian filmmakers refused to construct a bright future or defend spiritual values. Instead they portrayed the reality surrounding them without ideological constraints: beggars and impoverished pensioners on the streets, Mafia shootings, economic chaos, war in Chechnya, the emergence of a new social class and a society under reconstruction.
Visual media is examined with special attention paid to the embedded cultural discourse that can only be understood with references to Russian history, language, and cultural identity. This cultural discourse is explored in Russia’s depiction of and relationship with its past, present and future. These explorations, in turn, raise certain questions about visual media in post-Soviet society: What is the function of cinema in the new Russia? Should cinema offer what reality
cannot provide: a goal for people to live up to at a time when politics and ideology fail to provide direction? Does cinema articulate the reality of contemporary Russian life or is it portraying a grotesque or idealized version?