This article analyses Soviet historical imagination and its changes from the mid- 1930s to the mid-1940s through films dedicated to Civil War heroes. These films not only fixated the process of the transformation of the historical imagination in the Stalin era, but also introduced the development of what would become a dominant genre: the biographical film (biopic). Biopics resolved the opposition between faith in the people and the need for a hero through whom revolutionary class consciousness penetrated to the masses. The critical point in the genre’s history was the canonical film of Socialist Realism, Chapaev (Vasil'ev Brothers, 1934). Then the counter-tradition, set out by Chapaev, was transformed in Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s film Shchors (1939), before falling apart in Aleksandr Parkhomenko (Lukov, 1942) and Kotovskii (Faintsimmer, 1942). In this transformation from the epic (early Soviet revolutionary cinema) to the popular film (Chapaev) and back to the epic in the late 1930s (We Are from Kronstadt, Dzigan, 1936; Shchors) the logic of Soviet historical consciousness can be traced. © 2007 Intellect Ltd.

Creation myth and myth creation in stalinist cinema

Dobrenko E.
2007-01-01

Abstract

This article analyses Soviet historical imagination and its changes from the mid- 1930s to the mid-1940s through films dedicated to Civil War heroes. These films not only fixated the process of the transformation of the historical imagination in the Stalin era, but also introduced the development of what would become a dominant genre: the biographical film (biopic). Biopics resolved the opposition between faith in the people and the need for a hero through whom revolutionary class consciousness penetrated to the masses. The critical point in the genre’s history was the canonical film of Socialist Realism, Chapaev (Vasil'ev Brothers, 1934). Then the counter-tradition, set out by Chapaev, was transformed in Aleksandr Dovzhenko’s film Shchors (1939), before falling apart in Aleksandr Parkhomenko (Lukov, 1942) and Kotovskii (Faintsimmer, 1942). In this transformation from the epic (early Soviet revolutionary cinema) to the popular film (Chapaev) and back to the epic in the late 1930s (We Are from Kronstadt, Dzigan, 1936; Shchors) the logic of Soviet historical consciousness can be traced. © 2007 Intellect Ltd.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3742765
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