Directed by Karen Shakhnazarov
Photo: Viktor GUSEYNOV
WHERE IS THERE A CINEMA ABOUT DONBASS?
– Karen Georgievich, your film “Khitrovka” will be out soon. I quote: “A comic detective, a thriller based on the stories of Vladimir Gilyarovsky and Arthur Conan Doyle. The main characters are Gilyarovsky and Stanislavsky. loosely twisted..
– It turns out a funny picture – what the viewer loves, with a good ending. There are fights and chases… But people in the cinema are superstitious. When a movie is in production, we try not to talk about it.
– Here you are, Karen Georgievich, there you are shooting feature films. And Zakhar Prilepin, meanwhile, is very upset: where are the films “about the Special Operation, about Motorola”? As if the directors did not even start them, “as demons flee from incense.” Do you have any idea what time you premiere your movie?
– To feel. But it seems to me that just today we need an entertaining movie. I did different movies. And “Zero City”, and “Regicide”, and “Correo”. At the same time – “We are from jazz.” Cinema should be different. And you need to shoot about the Donbass and let the viewer rest. Let me remind you that during the Great Patriotic War, in addition to the wonderful “Two Soldiers”, there was also such a “First Economy”.
HOW STALIN ORDERED A WORK WITH CRITICISM OF THE GENERALS
– Do you see the modern “Two Fighters” now? Is anyone already working on it?
– No, you can’t see it. But in the USSR “Two Fighters” did not just appear. They called the director Lukov and said: we need such a picture, write such a script. I do not rule out that Stalin did this personally. Do you know how the play “Front” appeared? An interesting story that should be staged in modern theaters. Pyotr Korneichuk wrote a play on Stalin’s personal order that criticized… a part of the senior officers of the Red Army. Most of the generals were categorically against production. General Timoshenko wrote a letter to Stalin suggesting that this play not be performed. The problems of the army were raised there: in units, they say, weak intelligence, poor communications.
You can imagine? And the play premiered in 1942! In addition, it was first published in the Pravda newspaper. On the first page! Which is totally awesome.
– Before the staging?
– Exactly. At Stalin’s insistence. And then she went to many theaters in the country, they filmed her. It was a period when Stalin had great rights over the generals. But since he could no longer resort to the methods of 1937, he ordered and promoted this sharp game. I think films like “Two Soldiers” also went through the personal censorship of the Generalissimo. I will say more: do you think that all the Soviet directors of the “Stalinist cinema” were big supporters of his ideas? There were different people. But when the task was set, they did it with flair.
– And now it turns out that there is no order?
– I have not heard of it.
– The idea is not formulated.
– That is, finding a director is not a problem, ordering is not a problem. Trouble formulating an idea?
– But looking at our enthusiastic speakers on TV talk shows, the impression is that they came up with an idea a long time ago.
– When I listen to my friend Zakhar Prilepin, I think that he, like every great artist, is also a great idealist.
Will we ban “MIMINO”, “DO NOT CRY”?
– There is a discussion: what to do with the films in which the actors were now convicted of “treason” and “discrediting the army”?
– Here it is important not to break the firewood. Either way, going on a witch hunt is a dangerous story. This can create a division in society. It is one thing when it comes to those who directly cooperate with the enemy. Another is when the actor just spoke. Let him not succeed, stupid, but these are his convictions. Tomorrow you can change them. And take it out of the movies? I like this?
Vakhtang Kikabidze, known for his harsh anti-Russian statements, recently passed away. And what, we will remove Kikabidze from “Mimino”? Let’s ban “Don’t cry!” These are patriotic films, about the friendship of peoples!
– Have you noticed how you describe artists who have gone abroad as hot?
– In my opinion, too much attention. Firstly, there are not so many actors from them. This Smolyaninov spoke terribly. Journalists call me: comment. I tell you: I do not want to exalt myself, but still, who is Smolyaninov? Why should I advertise it?
UKRAINIANS MUST BE TALKED
– Karen Georgievich, you once remarked: “The main problem that now gnaws at the Russian intellectual elite is that we still do not fully understand whether we are united with the Ukrainian people or not. If you listen to our political scientists, there, who is what. Someone needs to take Lvov and Odessa, someone does not.
– The president formulated very precisely: we protect the people of Donbass from the Nazis. And we want the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine. But on the other hand, in our political science space, in my opinion, there is some kind of disorder. Someone wants to annex Ukraine as a whole. Someone thinks that Ukrainians and I are one people… Although my opinion is that there are Ukrainians. On my own. Yes, it is related, close to us, from the same root, but it still exists.
– Why did Ukrainians decide to move to the West?
– We have to think about how to convince them. We are in the habit of criticizing Lenin, and Vladimir Ilyich quickly convinced the Ukraine. He offered something specific: land. And the majority of the Ukrainian peasant masses, who were led by the likes of Makhno, went over to the side of the Soviet government. We have to offer something.
WHAT IS THE FUTURE FOR RUSSIA?
– Karen Georgievich, what is the future of Russia itself?
– Socialist. I have no doubts about it. And China’s experience shows that socialism is working successfully. It is clear that we immediately remember the Soviet model, but socialism is great – there are many paths in it.
– You said that the special operation would have very deep and far-reaching consequences. What, even a powerful update process will be launched.
– Yes, it’s already happening. Much is changing. Without it, it is impossible to win.
We are talking about serious and necessary changes in the economy and politics. The fact that we have been disconnected from the West is a big change. We don’t understand it yet, but we have a new condition. And useful in my opinion. We can finally take care of ourselves and build the country we want.