Soviet films, which have long become a part of Russian retro culture, are watched with pleasure by many today. It would seem that light comedies, evoking nostalgia and pleasant memories, understandable, simple, funny – they are suitable for viewing by absolutely everyone. But if you look closely, you can see unpleasant things in the plots of many Soviet films that do not fit into the morality of a modern person and do not teach anything good.
Abuse as a norm of life
The main and most obvious sin of most Soviet comedies, which makes them completely unfunny, is the psychological abuse that is presented to the viewer as the norm. Painting “Moscow does not believe in tears” could be perceived exclusively in a positive context and become an ode to a successful and strong woman, if this successful and strong woman did not begin to humiliate herself in front of a man who openly humiliates her.
In the picture, a certain Gosha is presented as the one and only, love and salvation from loneliness. But if we assess the situation with a sober look, then we see a toxic character with the inclinations of a despot and an inflated ego, who, having come to someone else’s house, dictates his own rules there. Gosha allows himself to raise his voice to the main character, demand complete submission from her, and then also feel guilty just because of the difference in income and status. In modern terms, this is pure abuse. We see the same phenomenon in “Irony of Fate or Enjoy Your Bath”, “Girls”, “Afonya”.
But why do the heroines of Soviet films allow themselves to be treated like this? What prevents you from saying goodbye to the troubled Gaucher or the despotic Hippolytus? Why such torment? The fear of loneliness is what pushes these women into the arms of highly questionable subjects. Remember the scene of Lyudmila Prokofievna Kalugina’s revelations about the “horrors” of bachelorhood?
A similar fear, coupled with inexpressible longing, appears in many other films:
- “The lonely is provided with a hostel.”
- “Moscow does not believe in tears”.
What is the famous phrase about Nadka and 28 years old, when “not just for Ksan Ksanych, you’ll go for a goat”! Such films dictate that life is not sweet without a man, career, interests, self-realization and everything else do not really matter for a woman. And if in the last century such an attitude to life and to oneself was more or less clear and somehow fit into the norms of public morality, today such archaisms of thinking are unacceptable. After all, every woman should know her own worth and respect herself, and not cling to the first comer.
Attitude towards a woman
A point that partly follows from the previous two. In addition to the fact that in Soviet films tough patriarchy is presented as something normal and self-evident, and a man is elevated to the rank of something irreplaceable and adored, in some films you can see other sins associated with attitudes towards the female sex.
For example, a comedy “The queen of the gas station” does not seem so funny, if you remember the biased and openly disrespectful attitude of men towards the main character, at a time when the swelling from the bites was still awake. They laugh together at her desire to become a guide (what is this if not rudeness?), Insult and belittle her at the gas station.
But pay attention to how the attitude towards the girl changes, as soon as she looks prettier!
The situation is similar in “Girls”: miniature and young Tosya is frankly spanked and completely disrespected, devaluing her work: according to the male part of the team, intelligence and skills are not needed to cook dishes, and the work of a cook does not deserve respect, unlike their work. But more attractive persons are perceived by the same characters in a completely different way. Thus, the attitude towards ladies is determined by her appearance.
Romanticization of the forbidden
Another subtle nuance of Soviet films that few people pay attention to is the romanticization of alcoholism. So, in the picture “Love and pigeons” strong drinks flow like a river, and one of the heroes clearly suffers from addiction and is ready to “bury” his wife for a glass, but all this is presented as something ordinary and funny. The same can be said about “Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath!” But let’s be honest, there is nothing funny about harmful addictions.
With the intelligentsia, which, it would seem, should demonstrate ideal manners, everything is not always smooth either. The brightest examples: Tatiana Sergeevna from “Spring on Zarechnaya Street” and Margarita Pavlovna from “Pokrovsky Gate”. Stubbornly demand from a girl to stand up during the roll call, and then not apologize after learning the reason? Easy! Use illness as an insult? Easy! It doesn’t even smell like intelligence here.
Of course, a feature film, especially a comedy, is just fiction, a humorous story that no one takes literally. However, we should not forget that it is culture that forms the personality: imperceptibly, brick by brick, layer by layer, various models of behavior, the foundations of morality and much more are laid in our minds. Therefore, when choosing a movie for family viewing, it is always worth considering what values and norms it demonstrates to the younger generation.
Do the attitudes of the Soviet era influence the thinking of a modern person, or does a person watch these films with the understanding that times have changed and everything is different?
Each person interprets any information in his own way, including the one that is broadcast through the cinema. As for the influence of Soviet cinema on modern people, if a person was not born and raised in Soviet times, it is unlikely that these films will interest him so much that he will watch them and then accept their script as a script for his life.
Considering the fact that, after all, times have changed significantly, and the interests and values of new generations are fundamentally different from the Soviet person, then you can be calm for our youth, since in their eyes many Soviet films look rather naive and uninteresting.
Today’s people do not attach much importance to them and have seen little from these films. Another thing is that people who still found the Soviet Union, they can still be influenced by Soviet cinema, because they perfectly remember the times when the family was valued above all else, was the basis of the value of society and for the sake of the family it was customary to endure anything.
And if today’s youth simply do not understand how it was possible to live like this, then previous generations lived like that. By the way, then the censorship simply did not allow making films where the family breaks up in the end. In movie “Autumn marathon” and “Late meeting” the main characters, in the end, decide to stay with an unloved and grumpy wife and abandon those whom they love in order to preserve the family.
Now such a turn may seem ridiculous, but in those days people lived like that. Yes, apparently, then through the cinema they tried to convince citizens that the family is above all. The message is not bad, but in fact it turned out that you need to endure any humiliation of your own dignity for the sake of a social unit.
The role model was taken by an insecure, flawed, afraid of loneliness and often lonely, looking back at the opinion of society, a woman and a man-manipulator, who successfully used all available methods to subjugate this woman-victim, who, by the way, according to the script, did not fall in love with this a man who appreciates her and does not care about her.
And all this is presented to us as love, although in fact it is manipulation, on the one hand, and pathological codependency, on the other. If a person is imbued with sympathy for any of these heroes, then he can psychologically associate with him and fall into a neurotic relationship, which is by no means as romantic as in the movies.
And it is important here to take into account the nature of the time when women were nevertheless protected by society, there were public condemnations of abuse (then it was called inappropriate behavior), there was interference in family life from relatives, neighbors, colleagues who not only interfered, but also tried help in a difficult situation.
Therefore, it is worth considering any cinema, including Soviet, through the prism of time, or better through the prism of one’s own happiness. Before building a similar scenario of a relationship in your head, analyze whether it will look so romantic in life? What if your partner always behaves this way, and you will always tolerate it? Will you be happy with this? Will you be able to appreciate and respect yourself in such a relationship with a person similar to the hero of the film?
And I will sum up my comment by the fact that there are many Soviet films and they are very different, so choose those that correspond to your outlook on life. Yes, then there was censorship, sometimes excessive, but now the modern film industry has completely simplified it, and it is not known which films can impose “crooked” life scenarios on you, and which ones can help you understand your relationship and create your own scenario.
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