In the studio of Constantinople, Nikolai Burlyaev, together with the presenter of Constantinople, Olesya Loseva and the guests, spoke about the main problem of Russia – an attempt to teach us perverted ideas of values alien to us. “Let the West perish, and we must save Russia,” Burlyaev emphasized, leading his interlocutors to this tough, but obviously true idea.
A film about two perverts – Soviet servicemen during the Cold War, was dragged into the program of the Moscow Film Festival. The film “The Firebird”, presented as part of the “Russian Trace” program, was filmed by an Estonian director, the main roles were played by a British and a Ukrainian. But the organizers kept silent about the real content of the film. The presenter Olesya Loseva talked with experts about this blatant provocation in the studio of the First Russian.
Filmed “The Firebird” by the Estonian homosexual Peter Rebane. The main roles are played by the young Briton Tom Pryor and the Ukrainian actor Oleg Zagorodny, a friend of the actor and writer Stephen Fry. And all would be fine, but only the film is about … homosexuals in the Soviet army.
Olesya Loseva: The topic, of course, is unpleasant, but we must open it. It is not difficult to understand who this film is aimed at. The question is, why do we need it at the Moscow Film Festival. Why are we in our country forced to watch something that offends us, our history, our ancestors? Why do they bring such insulting pictures to us?
Nikolay Burlyaev: This was to be expected. And this out-of-competition program should have been called differently – “Non-Russian trace”. This is a European, or rather a Hollywood trail. And so the selectors of the film festival, which I respect, followed in these footsteps. I think that the president of the film forum, the outstanding Russian director Nikita Mikhalkov, was not even informed about the entire program of the festival. But they set up both our president and the Moscow International Film Festival itself.
How is it possible that in Russia, where a presidential decree on the foundations of our cultural policy has been adopted, which states that our culture is based on traditional spiritual and moral values, such a thing is allowed. And where – in Moscow itself.
“We are diligently taught tolerance”
I only saw the trailer for this movie and the kissing photo of two young men. And it reminded me of a scandal that happened 15 years ago in Beijing. The Chinese left-wing press accused the country’s authorities of banning the screening of a film about homosexuals.
And then the Minister of Culture of China, when asked if we do not have this, gave a reasonable answer: “It was, it is. But why should it be attractive for millions of people?” After all, everything affects the psyche of young people who watch such films.
– That is, they will consider it the norm.
– We are diligently taught to be tolerant. What is tolerance? From the point of view of medicine, it is tolerance and non-resistance to viruses. But Russia must still resist this “virus”. We cannot follow this vicious path and propagate pathology. We must think about who we will hand over Russia to, what generation and on what it will be brought up.
– Let me remind you that the director of the film is a homosexual from Estonia. The description for the painting says: “This poignant story will open your eyes to a world full of suppression of feelings, fear and danger.” As it seems to me, after that the eyes will ache from vulgarity. It can be assumed that this film got to the festival due to an oversight, without understanding what the consequences could be. On the other hand, it can be a provocation, and a test run to see what the reaction will be, whether the film will cause noise, what will be said about it.
That is, this is an attempt by European “civilization” to somehow break through into our Russian world. Everything that happens in Europe is alien to us, we have a conservative society. Yes, there is a certain minority, but nothing more.
Who was this picture designed for? What kind of viewer did they want to attract with us?
– I realized long ago that we need to take a closer look at the MIFF qualifying campaign. Because even among the selectors there are those who like these unconventional values. But they are not supposed to determine the policy of a prestigious film festival.
But we came to such a situation after 30 years ago Yeltsin signed a law stating that the state should not interfere in cultural issues, but only give money to the Ministry of Culture. About five years ago, when I was still deputy chairman of the public council at this department, I decided to analyze who receives state grants in the department of state support for arts and folk art, which at that time was headed by Sofia Apfelbaum.
And I was surprised that our state money was allocated for staging, for example, plays promoting same-sex relations between schoolchildren or outright Russophobia and attacks against the president of the country. This is something that must be dealt with seriously. And we have to do something about it.
The decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the foundations of state cultural policy will not be in effect until the law of permissiveness, which we allowed in the 1990s, is abolished.
Let me remind you how beautifully Alexander Pushkin once wrote about permissiveness:
Any government has the right not to allow preaching in the squares, whatever comes to mind, and can stop the distribution of the manuscript, although the lines of it are inscribed with a pen, and not embossed with a typographic machine.
I would attribute these words to cinema and theater. There must be control. And if the officials cannot cope with this, since Yeltsin took away the rights to do this, then the public council under the Ministry of Culture can do this. Gogol also said: now there is a battle, the most important battle, a battle for the soul of man. It is not just going now, it is becoming more acute, and we must not lose.
– By the way, about the festival and about who allocates money for it. In the most prominent place on the website of the Moscow International Film Festival, it is indicated that the event is being held with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, the Moscow Government and the Moscow Department of Culture. According to Izvestia, the Ministry of Culture allocated 125 million rubles for the festival, which is significantly more than for any other similar festivals held in Russia.
“The Firebird” will not be widely released. I would like this to not happen in the future, so that our viewers do not see how the honor of the uniform, history and memory are defamed.
It’s all wildness and blatant lies
Olesya Loseva asked the next question to the Hero of Russia, Major General Sergei Lipovy, Chairman of the Presidium of the All-Russian Organization “Officers of Russia”.
– It is clear that you will not watch such a film. But the very fact that he was brought to the Moscow International Film Festival – how insulting is it for the officers of Russia, for the former soldiers of the Soviet army? This is just spitting, in my opinion.
Sergey Lipovoy: Over the past 20 years, all films that were shot about Russia, about our society and especially about the army, including the Soviet army, had one goal – to rewrite our history, to put it in a negative light. And this film, which we are talking about now, outrages me no less than any other officer who served in the Soviet Army and in the ranks of the Russian Army. How could he get to the Moscow Film Festival?
The MIFF was a platform for showing films that are really worth watching. But now, with its help, they are trying to once again impose on us the so-called “democratic values” of the West, which is outraged that we do not understand and do not perceive these “values”.
What is shown in this film is wildness for us. In addition, this is a blatant lie that denigrates a Soviet soldier, a Soviet officer. It is not surprising that the picture was filmed by a Western director. The film can be put on a par with numerous parodies of Soviet reality and modern life in Russia, which have recently been often shown in our cinemas and on TV screens.
The purpose of this is quite understandable – to discredit everything traditional, everything moral that remains in Russia, while the West has completely adjusted itself to these “democratic values.”
We in the “Officers of Russia” organization will not disregard this film and its demonstration at the Moscow International Film Festival. An appropriate appeal will be prepared both to the organizers of the festival and to the Ministry of Culture.
Why should weeds grow under the fence?
Returning to the conversation with Nikolai Burlyaev, the presenter asked the director:
– Will public censure and discontent somehow influence the situation with the showing of this picture?
– Sure! Normal people and the public should speak about it in full voice. But the question here is deeper and more serious. About a year ago, I got acquainted with the draft concept of the future law on culture. Its authors are unknown to me. And this whole concept is permeated with the idea that the state should not interfere in cultural issues, that the artist has the right to any interpretation of any events, including historical ones.
– Do you think it can come to this?
– We have repeatedly opposed this project, because it simply runs counter to what the president and the whole country are expecting. In this concept, there was no place for our traditional values, which we must preserve and accumulate in order to pass on to future generations.
One more point. Many years ago I came to the then Minister of Culture Mikhail Shvydkoy and in a conversation I asked why the ministry supports exhibitions of contemporary art, where chickens shit on Leo Tolstoy’s head, and visitors actually trample the Gospel texts that are projected onto the floor. And then he recalled that ideology has been abolished in Russia, which is enshrined in the Constitution. And with a sense of pride, Shvydkoy added: “Let all the flowers grow.” But why should the state help the weeds that grow under the fence?
So we need to think about bringing back ideology. Don’t be afraid of that. The state cannot live without it. And now another idea rules, absolutely diabolical – do what you want. That is, complete permissiveness.
What is the Russian idea was once well described by a famous philosopher: it is the idea of the heart, the idea of love. And Vladimir Putin has defined one of the main tenets of the idea of our country – this is patriotism. In order for the presidential decree to work, which we have been going for 15 years, a beautiful Russian ideology is needed. And let the West perish, and we must preserve Russia.
In a critical situation and decisions must be made critical
Pavel Pozhigailo, a member of the Public Chamber, president of the Stolypin Heritage Research Foundation, joined the conversation in the studio via Skype.
– I know the attitude to this film in advance. But still, I would like to hear a few words about what is the goal of demonstrating this film at the Moscow International Film Festival and how to stop it?
Pavel Pozhigailo: Most likely, this is a provocation. And one more way to launch some kind of discussion in society against the background of other provocations. All this is not accidental, and it is quite obvious.
How can I stop this? What in Russia outrages me so much that in this sense I want to be a German is the inconsistency of actions: we say one thing, do another. We proclaim some values, but as a result … The situation is critical, and in such cases, decisions are made critical.
I believe that a long time ago we should introduce criminal punishment for promoting homosexuality, and not listen to what the rest of the world has to say about this. Although here we are, I think, a little late. It was necessary to introduce criminal punishment for any propaganda 10-15 years ago. And don’t give a damn about the whole world. They are dying out, but we don’t want to.
Last summer we voted for amendments to the Constitution – about God, about traditional values, about the family as a union of a man and a woman. And today, in development of amendments to the Constitution, it is necessary to adopt appropriate laws that would consolidate the amendments to the Constitution adopted by all the people. And one of the laws should be the introduction of criminal punishment for any propaganda of homosexuality in all variations.
Nikolay Burlyaev, Olesya Loseva