Russia washed by blood : transformations of the revolutionary narrative in Russian film since the 1960s




Lipovet︠s︡kiĭ, M. N.

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Recently, many commentators noticed obvious resilience and anxiety of Russian authorities associated with the approaching celebration of the centennial of the 1917 revolution in Russia. In Ilya Kalinin’s words, “The common past is used as a screen on which to project the fears of those who are currently in power.” In his opinion, today Russian authorities seek to create “a national historical narrative that denies revolution altogether.” Having no objections to this diagnosis, Mark want to add that such historical narrative has been created by Soviet and post-Soviet intelligentsia throughout entire Soviet period and especially since the 1960s; but only now it has been adopted as the official “ideology”. In his paper Mark will outline main phases of this process focusing on the post-Stalin period. Transformations of the revolutionary narrative in Russian literature and film of the 1960s-2010s, on the one hand, forefront associations of revolution with violence and thus transforms it into a symbol of national self-suicide. On the other, constant rewritings of the revolutionary narrative reduce and eventually eliminate completely any emancipatory aspects of the revolution. Mark will also address the attempts to restore the emancipatory meaning of revolutionary signifiers in today’s left poetry and actionism.