The Rising Phantasms: The Stalinist Era in Post-Soviet Film

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Moscow, Gorky Park
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St. Petersburg, New Holland Island
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  • Year: 2015
  • Language: Russian
  • Publisher: New Literary Observer
  • ISBN: 9785444802502
  • Page: 312
  • Cover: paperback
  • About the Book

In his book, Alexander Jakobidze-Gitman traces the evolution of the attitude toward Stalinism in post-Soviet cinema. Initially, the post-Soviet-era film-makers focused primarily on the "demonic" aspects of Stalin, which were, incidentally, first attributed to him even during his lifetime. Later, another cinematic tradition, which established itself by the mid-2000s, pictured the Stalinist era as both tragic and heroic: characters displayed exceptional humanness, not so much despite but rather because of the adverse circumstances. At the same time, some filmmakers sought to represent certain aspects of Stalinism with an ironic distance. Together, these two trends successfully incorporated many vertiges of that era into present-day mass culture. An alternative attitude was taken by art-house cinema: instead of trying to reconstruct history it sought to create specific means of expression to portray the very act of remembering. 

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