Militarization of the Past in Russian Popular Historical Cinema - lecture by Egor Isaev on March 9, 2023

March 7, 2023

The next “CEU BUDAPEST - OSUN Postdoctoral and Doctoral Fellowships at Blinken OSA” presentation will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 9, 2023 by Egor Isaev, Documentary Filmmaker; PhD student, Institute of Media, Ruhr-University of Bochum titled: 

  Militarization of the Past in Russian Popular Historical Cinema 

 The research project explores the representations of the past in contemporary Russian popular cinema and TV series. It is set within the fields of media studies and public history, and aims to analyze images and narratives through which the Soviet and Imperial pasts have been (re)constructed in the Russian media culture.  

Nowadays, Russia is torn apart by chauvinism, separatism, nostalgia for the empire, and an unexamined historical trauma. The country produces a large number of popular war films intended to reconciliate society with its history and set a militaristic vector for the future. This phenomenon requires careful analysis. Being lost during the 1980s and 1990s, post-Soviet society has tried to find a new identity, one that considers history as its foundation. This research sheds light on how Russian society is represented in the cinema of the late Putin era and how these representations are often rooted in the past. I aim to demonstrate that popular historical film is a far more powerful tool than it is perceived in Russia today.

The study focuses on historical films made in 2008–2014 and 2014–2020 (known as the second and third parts of Putin’s era). Several types of sources are analyzed: popular films that rewrite the histories of World War Two, the Brezhnev era, and Admiral Kolchak and the White Army. 

The presentation will be held at 11.00 am on Thursday, March 9, in the Meeting Room at Arany János u. 32., Budapest (OSA Blinken Archivum) and online