Models of New Femininity and Masculinity in Soviet Russia in the 1920s

  • Marina L. Levitina


STARS OF EARLY AMERICAN CINEMA AS MODELS OF NEW FEMININITY AND MASCULINITY IN SOVIET RUSSIA IN THE 1920S This paper explores some of the cinematic links that existed in the 1920s between Soviet Russia and its great "Other", America. It argues that in that decade, stars of silent American cinema, in particular Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Pearl White, and Mary Pickford offered the Soviet viewers, as well as critics and filmmakers, alternative models of new masculinity and femininity. For Soviet Russia in the 1920s, America became a kind of measuring stick of success(1) on the road toward the new, technologically advanced and efficient Soviet society. While the communist future was not yet attained, and the country was undergoing a process of massive transformation, the adjective "American" acquired a new meaning: it became a metaphor for excellence(2) and led to the appearance and wide use of the discursive practice...

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