The International Movie Industry

By Gorham Kindem | Go to book overview

11 Soviet Union/Russia

Dmitry Shlapentokh


Soviet Cinema: Pictorial Images of Soviet Ideology

Throughout its history, political changes in Russia have played an important role in the country's movie industry--more so perhaps than in any other country. It would of course be a gross oversimplification to see the history of Russian cinema (actually Soviet movies) as being the product of the only culture in which the political agenda has shaped the nature of the cultural output. In observing American movies, one can readily see the political taboos and stereotypes within them. Indeed, one can hardly find an American movie where the negative character of a member of a minority group or female is not counterbalanced by a female heroine or a hero of minority origin. Yet despite the public pressure that defines the way this or that subject may be treated, Western movies have never been totally controlled, and for this reason they can be approached from various angles. For instance, the political angle would just be one of many approaches, and one could claim with ample justification that it would not be the most important.

In the case of Soviet movies, however, a film's content was implicitly connected to the regime. The content could be either a direct response to the demands of the regime and its ideology or the response of the creators of the movie to ideological pressure. Consequently, the history of Soviet cinema can be divided according to the major ideological shifts in the Soviet regime. Each of these stages had a major problem and/or a major hero on which the movies focused. It would of course be an impossible task even to mention the names of the most important movies created during the seventy years of the Soviet regime's existence. For this reason, I have been extremely selective in my choice of movies as well as the intellectual and political stages in the development of the Soviet system. For each of these periods, the images of

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The International Movie Industry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Japan 7
  • 3 - China 22
  • 4 - India 36
  • 5 - Australia 60
  • 6 - Israel 78
  • 7 - Iran 99
  • 8 - Senegal 117
  • 9 - South Africa 140
  • 10 - Hungary 165
  • 11 - Soviet Union/Russia 178
  • 12 - France 195
  • 13 - Germany 206
  • 14 - Italy 223
  • 15 - Great Britain 234
  • 16 - Sweden 247
  • 17 - Brazil 257
  • 18 - Mexico 273
  • 19 - Canada 292
  • 20 - United States 309
  • 21 - Conclusion 331
  • Index 403
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