The ant's a centaur in his dragon world.
Perestroika took us by surprise and backed us into a corner. There is no escaping it. Those who made faces just looking at Pravda's front page soon realized that it was time to change their ways. Suddenly people began to use the new jargon of glasnost. At the same time, they missed the pleasure of suffering from the unbearable lightness of social being.
But did it take a little too long to part with the old illusions in order to choke on the new ones? The euphoria that runs through Russian veins veils reality. It engenders notorious "likemindedness" and prevents one from taking a sober look at the past, the future or the present.
The term perestroika faces the same misfortune of all too successful symbols-a loss of meaning. Although perestroika is a noun, it derives from a verb: "to reconstruct, to restructure". So it must be viewed as a process and not as a result, as the license to protest or obtaining a visa to travel abroad may seem. It is just a transition, neither more nor less. And this is true about everything, including film, which according to our party instructions is "of all of the arts the most important" for this country. But, as far as cinema is concerned, there is a lot of argument about the film industry, while the artistry is kept in the closet. It would help to let it out.
Perhaps most intellectuals just don't dare admit that perestroika is nothing but a transition, for they don't want to believe that it could come to an end. For, if it does come to an end, what's next?
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema. Contributors: Anna Lawton - Editor. Publisher: Routledge. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 322.
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