Russian Cinema in the Free-Market Realm

  • Christina Stojanova


RUSSIAN CINEMA IN THE FREE-MARKET REALM: STRATEGIES FOR SURVIVAL For a motto of this article I would like to paraphrase the title of Werner Herzog's 1974 film Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle(1) (Every Man for Himself and God Against All) to read: Every Director for Himself and the Free Market Against All. The Hungarian-born social economist and philosopher Karl Polanyi provides a useful theoretical framework for the current situation in post-Communist national cinemas. In his ground-breaking work The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (1944) he critiques the inherent tendency of an all powerful market to subordinate and manipulate society. His famous dictum "laissez-faire was planned, central planning was not" rings more true today on the basis of post Communist experience, than at the time he wrote his book between the wars.(2) Polanyi has consistently warned against the dangers of separation...