Glasnost—Soviet Cinema Responds

[ Film, Media, and Popular Culture ]

Glasnost—Soviet Cinema Responds

By Nicholas Galichenko

Edited by Robert Allington

The first overall survey of the effects of glasnost on the work of Soviet filmmakers and their films.

Thomas Schatz, Editor



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6 x 9 | 154 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-72753-3

With the coming of glasnost to the Soviet Union, filmmakers began to explore previously forbidden themes, and distributors released films that were suppressed by pre-glasnost-era censors. Soviet cinema underwent a revolution, one that mirrors and helps interpret the social revolution that took place throughout the USSR. Glasnost—Soviet Cinema Responds is the first overall survey of the effects of this revolution on the work of Soviet filmmakers and their films.

The book is structured as a series of three essays and a filmography of the directors of glasnost cinema. The first essay, "The Age of Perestroika," describes the changes that occurred in Soviet cinema as it freed itself from the legacy of Stalinism and socialist realism. It also considers the influence of film educator and director Mikhail Romm. "Youth in Turmoil" takes a sociological look at films about youth, the most dynamic and socially revealing of glasnost-era productions. "Odysseys in Inner Space" charts a new direction in Soviet cinema as it focuses on the inner world of individuals.

The filmography includes thirty-three of the most significant glasnost-era directors, including Tengiz Abuladze, Karen Shakhnazarov, and Sergei Soloviev, with a comprehensive list of their films. Discussions of many individual films, such as Repentance, The Messenger Boy, and The Wild Pigeon, and interviews with the directors reveal the effects that glasnost and perestroika have had on the directors' lives and art.

Preface: Recent Soviet Film—One Critic’s Choice

Chapter 1. The Age of Perestroika
Purging Stalin’s Ghost from the Film Industry
The Romm Connection
Beyond the Year of the Rabbit

Chapter 2. Youth in Turmoil
The New Raskolnikov, Dostoevsky Revisted
What Do You Want to Do with Your Life, Ivan Miroshnikov?
Looking Back: The Orphans (1977), Ivan Brovkin (1955, 1959)
Directors with Commitment

Chapter 3. Odysseys in Inner Space
Gherman’s Time Machine
Soloviev’s Parable of Hope
The Imperfect Hero

Chapter 4. The Directors of Glasnost: A Filmography
Vadim Abdrashitov
Tengiz Abuladze
Alexander Askoldov
Rolan Bykov
Grigori Chukhrai
Georgi Danelia
Nana Djordjadze
Alexei Gherman
Lana Gogoberidze
Nikolai Gubenko
Yuri Kara
Elem Klimov
Andrei Konchalovsky
Vyacheslav Kristofovich
Irakli Kvirikadze
Leida Laius
Konstantin Lopushansky
Nikita Mikhalkov
Kira Muratova
Valeri Ogorodnikov
Tolomush Okeyev
Gleb Panfilov
Sergei Paradjanov
Vasili Pichul
Yuri Podnieks
Eldar Ryazanov
Karen Shakhnazarov
Eldar Shengelaya
Georgi Shengelaya
Larisa Shepitko
Andrei Smirnov
Alexander Sokurov
Sergei Soloviev


Nicholas Galichenko is Professor Emeritus of Germanic and Russian Studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Robert Allington is a writer and editor who helped establish the Creative Writing Co-operative Education Program at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

“A first assessment of the liberating effect of the new Russian revolution on the work of Soviet directors. Included is an informative filmography of the most significant directors with a comprehensive list of their films.”

American Cinematographer

“A solid survey of the films of the first phase of glasnost up to 1989.... Richly illustrated with photographs from films and film posters.”

Canadian Slavonic Papers