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Coming to Terms with the Soviet Myth of Heroism Twenty-five Years After the Chernobyl’ Nuclear Disaster: An Interpretation of Aleksandr Mindadze’s Existential Action Movie Innocent Saturday

Lindbladh, Johanna LU (2012) In Anthropology of East Europe Review 30(1). p.113-126
Abstract
This essay presents an analysis of the Russian director Alexandr Mindadze’s feature film Innocent Saturday, released precisely 25 years after the Chernobyl’ accident in Ukraine. In a comparative study between the Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking reception of the film, I will show that the philosophical dimension, depicting Chernobyl’ not as a “great” historical, technological event, but in terms of how it affected peoples’ minds and feelings, constitutes the main theme in the Russian reception, but is more or less absent in the non-Russian-speaking reception. Building upon this divergence in reception, I will further explore the theme of Soviet heroism in a hermeneutical analysis of the film. My conclusions are that Mindadze, in... (More)
This essay presents an analysis of the Russian director Alexandr Mindadze’s feature film Innocent Saturday, released precisely 25 years after the Chernobyl’ accident in Ukraine. In a comparative study between the Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking reception of the film, I will show that the philosophical dimension, depicting Chernobyl’ not as a “great” historical, technological event, but in terms of how it affected peoples’ minds and feelings, constitutes the main theme in the Russian reception, but is more or less absent in the non-Russian-speaking reception. Building upon this divergence in reception, I will further explore the theme of Soviet heroism in a hermeneutical analysis of the film. My conclusions are that Mindadze, in depicting a hero who “does not escape”, points towards the existential impossibility of “escaping from your own self”, thus challenging not only the rules of an action movie, but also the Soviet myth of heroism, still a politically intense debate in the former Soviet Union. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Russia, Ukraine, Soviet Union, film, reception, Chernobyl’, nuclear accident, Mindadze, Innocent Saturday, myth of heroism, existentialism, Bakhtin, non-alibi in Being
in
Anthropology of East Europe Review
volume
30
issue
1
pages
113 - 126
publisher
IUScholarWorks
ISSN
1054-4720
project
The memory of Chernobyl in witness literature and fiction from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia 1986-2011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4f150d35-5cd8-4675-8f21-1c042606c97e (old id 3359437)
alternative location
http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/aeer/article/view/2002/1965
date added to LUP
2013-01-16 13:08:44
date last changed
2016-04-15 21:14:24
@article{4f150d35-5cd8-4675-8f21-1c042606c97e,
  abstract     = {This essay presents an analysis of the Russian director Alexandr Mindadze’s feature film Innocent Saturday, released precisely 25 years after the Chernobyl’ accident in Ukraine. In a comparative study between the Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking reception of the film, I will show that the philosophical dimension, depicting Chernobyl’ not as a “great” historical, technological event, but in terms of how it affected peoples’ minds and feelings, constitutes the main theme in the Russian reception, but is more or less absent in the non-Russian-speaking reception. Building upon this divergence in reception, I will further explore the theme of Soviet heroism in a hermeneutical analysis of the film. My conclusions are that Mindadze, in depicting a hero who “does not escape”, points towards the existential impossibility of “escaping from your own self”, thus challenging not only the rules of an action movie, but also the Soviet myth of heroism, still a politically intense debate in the former Soviet Union.},
  author       = {Lindbladh, Johanna},
  issn         = {1054-4720},
  keyword      = {Russia,Ukraine,Soviet Union,film,reception,Chernobyl’,nuclear accident,Mindadze,Innocent Saturday,myth of heroism,existentialism,Bakhtin,non-alibi in Being},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {113--126},
  publisher    = {IUScholarWorks},
  series       = {Anthropology of East Europe Review},
  title        = {Coming to Terms with the Soviet Myth of Heroism Twenty-five Years After the Chernobyl’ Nuclear Disaster: An Interpretation of Aleksandr Mindadze’s Existential Action Movie Innocent Saturday},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2012},
}