Russian documentary at the turn of the 21st century

ПРОЖИКО  Галина Семёновна

Abstract


The essay analyzes creative problems of the screen language of Russian documentaries at the turn of the 21st century in the context of the changed system of film production and promotion, as well as the changed paradigm of relations between the author and the hero and the evolution of the expressive methods of the documentary film which took place in that period. The essay reflects on the problems of the development of Russian documentaries at a crucial time when the issues of the survival of the documentary, so acute in the 1990s, have been overcome and are now bringing to the fore creative searches exploring essential contemporary phenomena. The author sees these innovations in the new concept of the documentary hero and in the formation of other authorial tasks and techniques aimed at capturing the uniqueness of the philosophy of human existence in the circumstances of a new social and psychological reality. Analysis of such films as Passengers of the Last Century, Solzhenitsyn. Life Is Not a Lie, Starling, David, Sorry for Living, Just Life, Live and Rejoice and others reveals the problems of the “homo historicus”, the relationship between the author and the hero, the new interrelationship between the ethical and the aesthetic, and the specifics of a human being’s self-realization in a dialogue with the author. At the same time, the essay emphasizes the continuity of the creative searches by documentary filmmakers of different generations in mastering the "human material" of the new reality.


Full Text

The essay analyzes creative problems of the screen language of Russian documentaries at the turn of the 21st century in the context of the changed system of film production and promotion, as well as the changed paradigm of relations between the author and the hero and the evolution of the expressive methods of the documentary film which took place in that period. The essay reflects on the problems of the development of Russian documentaries at a crucial time when the issues of the survival of the documentary, so acute in the 1990s, have been overcome and are now bringing to the fore creative searches exploring essential contemporary phenomena. The author sees these innovations in the new concept of the documentary hero and in the formation of other authorial tasks and techniques aimed at capturing the uniqueness of the philosophy of human existence in the circumstances of a new social and psychological reality. Analysis of such films as Passengers of the Last Century, Solzhenitsyn. Life Is Not a Lie, Starling, David, Sorry for Living, Just Life, Live and Rejoice and others reveals the problems of the “homo historicus”, the relationship between the author and the hero, the new interrelationship between the ethical and the aesthetic, and the specifics of a human being’s self-realization in a dialogue with the author. At the same time, the essay emphasizes the continuity of the creative searches by documentary filmmakers of different generations in mastering the "human material" of the new reality.

About the authors

Galina S. Prozhiko

VGIK

Author for correspondence.
Email: vestnik-vgik@vgik.info

Russian Federation

Doctor of Arts, Professor

References

  1. Posle vzryva: Dokumental'noye kino 90-kh [After the explosion: Documentary film of the 90s]. Moscow: Andreyevskiy flag, 1995.
  2. Prozhiko G.S. (2004) Kontseptsiya real'nosti v ekrannom dokumente [The concept of reality in a screen document]. Moscow: VGIK, 2004. (In Russ.).
  3. Prozhiko G.S. (2002) Kontseptsiya obshchego plana v ekrannom dokumente [The concept of a general plan in a screen document]. Moscow: Institut povysheniya kvalifikatsii rabotnikov televideniya i radioveshchaniya, 2002. (In Russ.).

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