Film Review: Dear Comrades! (2020) by Andrei Konchalovsky

One of many many elements that mixes authoritarian political techniques is the need to regulate public opinion, the media and the way it’s introduced within the outdoors world, making it compulsory to look at, censor or silence them. Within the case of the June 1962 Novocherkassk bloodbath, the strike of staff over a rise in manufacturing quotas and the general rise within the prices of residing resulted within the Soviet military stepping in, killing 26 individuals and wounding round 80, in accordance with official sources. The occasion was stored quiet for a few years, despite the fact that rumors unfold rapidly throughout the nations, as director Andrei Konchalovsky recollects, who was on the time working with filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky on the script for “Ivan’s Childhood”. As he grew to become a director himself, he deliberate to make a movie in regards to the occasions of that day, but it surely wasn’t till the 2010s that he got here again to the thought, which defines the muse for his function “Expensive Comrades!”.

Dear Comrades! is screening at Black Movie International Festival of Independent Movies

Ever since she was a younger lady, Lyudmilla (Julia Vysotskaya) has been a powerful believer within the insurance policies of the Soviet state and within the beliefs of communism. Though the rule of Joseph Stalin made many individuals skeptical in regards to the system, she remained a loyal supporter, and even grew to become a member of the native metropolis committee in her hometown of Novocherkassk. Nonetheless, her stern perception and political beliefs have been the supply of conflicts together with her father, an ex-soldier, and her daughter Svetka (Yuliya Burova), who criticises the present system for having forgotten in regards to the individuals, particularly now that the prices for housing and meals have risen.

Inside the metropolis, Svetka just isn’t the one one disillusioned with the celebration and their politics, as a employee’s strike takes place, which the officers wish to sweep beneath the carpet. Nonetheless, as the quantity of unrest of the individuals turns into an increasing number of obvious, army together with political officers really feel the necessity to act, to silence the employees, by ordering a lockdown of town itself and the military to maintain the individuals at bay. When in the course of the protest, a number of the demonstrators are shot, panic erupts, leaving many wounded and lifeless, and Lyudmilla in seek for her daughter, who she suspects could be both hiding or, her worst concern, among the many victims.

As dependable accounts of the vents are nonetheless considerably unsure, Konchalovsky depends on the household drama to inform a narrative about disillusionment and the undermining of 1’s perception. The awful black-and-white cinematography is an apt depiction of the sort of actuality Lyudmilla and her household have discovered to dwell with, however whereas her father and daughter have little doubt in regards to the bleak future which awaits them, albeit with totally different penalties for themselves, the principle character nonetheless believes within the imaginative and prescient of the top of sophistication wrestle and the utopian world promised by communism. All through the function, the seek for her daughter and the rising KGB presence in search of the final remnant of resistance among the many inhabitants, appear to accompany a lack of religion and likewise innocence, as political idealism faces the hash actuality of an authoritarian regime desirous to terminate any opposition.

In some ways, this second of readability is the true violence in “Expensive Comrades!”, leaving one empty and and not using a sense of belonging. As Lyudmilla, actress Julia Vysotskaya offers a powerful efficiency as a lady whose religion is examined, when the battle between her ideology and her household can now not be evaded. The taking pictures itself is vicious, depicted with a sure distance, whereas the aftermath, officers pointing fingers and blaming one another, KGB brokers interrogating and blackmailing witnesses to remain silent, exposes the regime for what it’s, with Lyudmilla being in the course of all of it.

In conclusion, “Expensive Comrades!” is a strong function about disillusionment and lack of religion. With its sturdy performances and cinematography, Andrei Konchalovsky has managed to inform a narrative a couple of pivotal occasion in Soviet historical past, which is each thought-provoking and impactful.



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