Capitalism In The Film Sideburns, Drum Roll, And Brother

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Cinema is both a document of a society’s historical change as well as a portrayal of the economic and cultural changes presented through its master narrative. In post-soviet cinema, movies are both a product of capitalism as well as reflecting on its ideas while demonstrating Russian’s attitudes toward westernization. In Imaging Russia Anna Lawton writes, “The collapse of the Soviet Union had the effect of making Russia even more of a riddle to the foreign observer than it had ever been,” (2). The films Sideburns, Drum Roll, and Brother explore the dynamic situation that occurred in Russia in the post-soviet era with the introduction of capitalism.
The collapse of the Soviet Union presented a special environment in which independent movies …show more content…

With the loss of its centralized structure, the film industry produced filmmakers with radical new ideas. The unique nature of these films was a product of the loss of unified identity.
Sideburns could not have been produced without the introduction of capitalism. The centralized film committee present in the Soviet Union would not have allowed the vulgarity, nudity, and controversial topics present throughout the film. In addition to being a product of the new system in place, the film comments on elements of the Russian people. The director of Sideburns uses satire in order to ridicule cultural norms peppered throughout Russian society at the time. For example, the rise to power of the Pushkin club sheds light on Russia’s habit of breeding tyrannical leaders in the midst of social instability. Thomas E. Billings explains in a critique of the film, “The growth of the …show more content…

For example, there is a shot of the drummer marching through a series of kiosks which were the harbingers of the free market. There is also a scene where there is an “encounter of shantytown dwellers with a foreign delegation of land developers. The drummer meets a French business-man during a Russian-style party,” (Anna Lawton, 287). This scene would only be possible with the newly instituted free market in Russia. In regards to commentary on Westernization, Drum Roll shows the drummer going to Paris and returning with an array of Western items such as gaudy designer clothes and electronic equipment. When he leaves his things in a taxi, he is promptly robbed and returns to his normal state. The director includes this event in order to show how elements of the Western world would not survive on native Russian

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