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Russian Cinema in troubled times

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The end of the Soviet era opened a period of financial distress and artistic disorientation in the film industry. The transition to the free market was too abrupt; price liberalization, privatization, the collapse of the centralized system of production and distribution, the deterioration of the studios, inadequate law enforcement to guarantee copyright, rampant video piracy, and the general decline of disposable income among the population combined to push film production down to an alarming low. The films of shock capitalism do not easily fall into a trend or a movement. Many reassess the past, placing different spins on various epochs and figures according to the director's ideological orientation. Others reflect the reality of the present day, either in dramatic or grotesque form. Still others offer escapism into imaginary worlds. About 50 films are surveyed here. They vary in production values and intellectual level, but each is a document of the specific time and place in which it was produced. Each film, therefore, is relevant as a cultural product of this bizarre Russian fin de sicle.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-07-01

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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