New Russian Cinema

  • Christina Stojanova


The transition to market economy and the dismantling of the USSR created an unprecedented crisis in Russian film industry. The awesome All Union Ministry of Cinematography (Goskino) was dismembered. This almost paramilitary institution, whose senior officials were also allegedly senior KGB officers, directed, or rather policed, the Soviet film production process with the stick of censorship, and the carrot of lucrative awards. Understandably, the censorship is not going to be sorely missed. What is missed, however, are the generous state budgets and the firm general line, drawn by the military from the Ministry, in accordance with the ever-changing Kremlin ideological vision. Distribution-wise the situation in Russian cinema followed the pattern characteristic for the other post-communist countries. American films, kept for so long beyond the ideological pale, took over the repertoire, occupying around 75% of the programming time, with a tendency to reach 85% during the next decade. In the Russian...