June 30th, 2014 The Father Figure, Stalin
Films are an indication of traditions, norms, beliefs, observations, and commentary of which the director has lived and/or traveled too. A director’s use of technique can hide, symbolize, and/or allude to Underyling ideas. Russian cinema is a true depiction of Russia’s history, government and it’s lasting affect on Russia’s culture, views, norms, and mind-set of its people. In the movies The Thief and Inner Circle, the directors use these techniques to present Stalin’s use of propaganda on the youth by representing himself as the father figure.
Stalin was one of the most powerful, effective, yet one of the most ruthless dictators the world has ever seen. Stalin eradicated an estimated 60 million people of his own country while still maintaining the love, naivetés, and absolute loyalty from his citizens. During the reign of Stalin (1929 to 1953), Stalin used propaganda to control all aspects (aka thought and acts) of Russia’s citizens. The movies The Thief and Inner Circle are primarily exemplifications of how Stalin’s propaganda created this false illusion, which resulted in the nations, devoted loyalty and love for him. As Stalin eradicated the intellectual, outspoken, unafraid, and courageous people, he saw a chance to utilize the parentless children as his lasting legacy. He installed himself as a father figure, and an almost God like figure. He as well created a dependent, nationalistic, and loyalty to only love Stalin and Russia. Stalin realized his could forever maintain his legacy by influencing the youth, for they are the future of Russia.
In the movie Inner Circle, director Andrey Konchalovskiy portrays the power propaganda has on the nation’s people. Propaganda belittled the children of deceased enlightened Russians, and identified himself as a father figure, which left a lasting impact on the youth of Stalin’s Era. This was especially significant in orphanages as depicted from the Guberman’s daughter. In the opening scene, the audience witnesses Ivan’s friends, the Gubermans, being obtained, for being Jewish, by the SSR than committing suicide with a gun. This moment is the first indication of Stalin’s brutality, yet it is not until the orphanage and end scene where the audience sees the power and implications of Stalin’s propaganda. As Stalin eradicated the enlightened, he left several kids homeless, which is why he engrained a father like figure during their most impressionable years. For instance, when Katya (10 years of age), the Guberman’s daughter, is in the orphanage the caregivers ingrain specific songs and sayings intended to make these parentless children see Stalin as their father figure. Young children are extremely impressionable during these developing years. These are the years children form their personalities, and beliefs; which is why parents are necessary for the developmental process. By Stalin’s ability to either exterminate the intellectual and/or control the parents minds, he thus will have control of the future of Russia, aka the youth. In the orphanage, the songs the children were forced to sing are centered on the absolute devotion and love of Stalin. Songs and visual cues are a perfect way of having it stick onto a person’s mind, especially a naive child’s mind. The orphans are forced to shave their heads, bathed every 3 days, and repeatedly told to hate their parents because their parents went against the nation and/or are unworthy1. The orphans shaved heads and destruction of all prior sentimental items, illustrates the removal of these children’s past. For instance, Katya’s red bow (given by her parents) is an everlasting connection to her parents. By removing that sentimental item it detaches any bond especially when the children are young. The removal of the hair seems to allude to the similar procedure Hitler ordered for the Jews in the concentration camps, which is ironic. The closing