Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer
The leisure of up to the ears quarantined citizens is intended to brighten up the new series “Zuleikha opens her eyes”, shown on “Russia-1”, based on the eponymous novel by Guzel Yakhina, which was published in 2015 by Elena Shubina and won not only significant awards, but also the international market (the novel has been translated into 12 languages).
I believe that this is a huge success for both the author and the publisher. In addition, this is the success of the publisher as a competent PR specialist, for the modern literature is also a commodity, no matter how we treat this. Alas, few people in the Russian book market are capable of competently promoting authors, as is the case, for example, in Germany. I am very glad that a similar precedent has been created in Russia.
Nevertheless, a series of significant questions arise for the series. My eye, in principle, rejects what goes on politically biased state television. I connect the broad discussion of the series not only and not so much with the ideological contradictions inherent in it, or its aesthetic appeal, but with its deliberate media presentation as an instrument of ideological influence.
Interesting is the opinion of the representative of the Tatar intelligentsia, candidate of historical sciences, senior researcher at the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Tatarstan, RF Mukhametdinov: “The novel tells about the misfortunes of the Aboriginal woman (Tatar woman) who fell into a“ civilized ”society. The history of the main character shows the history and mechanism of assimilation of non-Russian peoples and their transformation into a "great" people. And this mechanism is shown as follows. The Tatar people are shown in the book with only three characters: Murtaza (husband of Zuleiha), Upyriha (mother-in-law), and Zuleiha herself. Zuleikha herself is some kind of dumb slaughtered slave who is silent all four first episodes and constantly works like crazy. ”
Further, the author describes how Zuleikha is changing for the better, moving away from the “wild Tatars” to the Russian-Soviet majority: “So, Zuleikha begins to see that“ humanism ”and that“ high culture ”that she had not seen in Tatar life before. Her eyes opened on this Russian-Soviet world. This is the mechanism of spiritual and linguistic assimilation. This ideology of the book is very consistent with modern Russian politics in recent years. Based on the foregoing, the state may have given such a great progress to the promotion of both the book and the film, since the ideology of this book is too painful for the ideology of the state. ”
I understand the idea of Mukhametdinov and in some ways he is right. But I believe that participating in this kind of discussion, we fall into another trap of duality, where empire is opposed to national states, while the global world has already abandoned the modern and post-modern forms of collective existence, preferring more modern and dynamic systems. In the world of post-informational, such social models look not just archaic, but ridiculous.
When at the end of the 80s of the last century it came to the collapse of the USSR, national identity was a modern and adequate way of relatively safe and controlled withdrawal of newly formed states in the international legal field. Leaving the hated bosom of the socialist vale, nationalism was the fresh wind that brought freedom and tempered the peoples who left the once red-faced prison that seemed to be indestructible. In the present, the nation-states from the former Soviet republics that have historically consolidated their status have again come to a crossroads, but not in matters of national self-determination, but in matters of participation in global economic and cultural life.
The post-Soviet period can be described as a time of missed opportunities. Two essentially unsuccessful Chechen wars, an imbalance of powers between federal and regional authorities, an unsophisticated game on the diplomatic field, and the inability to compensate for the loss of production capacity after the republics were torn away. Be that as it may, with the formation of a political nation we were ten years late. Interethnic and social conflicts have reached their next critical significance - the next “turning point” will be simultaneously a “point of no return”. I would not like to succumb to the prevailing alarmism in analytical work now: I consider the scenario of a civil war extremely unlikely. However, it is obvious that the current situation puts an end to the economic and social development of the country.
I propose the formation of a full-fledged Russian political nation. Since I am talking specifically about a political nation, and not about ethnic or genetic community, such self-identification is sufficient for further conclusions. Another ten to fifteen percent of the population will take any reasonable government course, if only it solves their economic and social problems. To risk the well-being of the country and its citizens for the sake of the dubious defense of the interests of certain peoples, especially the aggressively-minded five percent, seems to me not only unreasonable, but also criminal.
What does the formation of a political nation include? Revision of the federal treaty: like most of the fundamental regulatory acts adopted at the dawn of the Russian Federation, this treaty was written for specific individuals and their personal interests. As a result, increased autonomy of a number of economically successful constituent entities of the federation: today almost all regional funds go to the federal budget, from where they are redistributed between the regions and between the “federal bigwigs”. Ensuring the equality of everyone before the law, creating a powerful legal field, separation of powers and all those basic principles on which the rule of law is based.
I emphasize that in my “roadmap” for overcoming the current crisis, nationalist rhetoric is subordinated to considerations of socio-economic development and aspirations to build a full-fledged liberal state. Moreover, I consider moderate nationalism not only a natural response to the aggression of national minorities. The rise and gradual activation of national identity, the direction of national energy in a peaceful, constructive direction is also an effective vaccine against the degeneration of nationalism in chauvinism and its other radical forms.
A little more about the quality of the series. I cannot perceive Chulpan Khamatova as an actress. And not only because she plays poorly, that is, she constantly re-plays, but also because for me she is, first and foremost, a full-time harlequin propagandist of a pseudocultural political theater.
Her answer to the question: “If you sharpen your choice - either to live in a country like North Korea, for example, or a revolution, what would you choose?”, Was the following “I would choose North Korea. I do not want victims. ” This answer forever separated her from the civilized, progressive and free part of the citizens of Russia.
The facade and stylistics of the film project itself is an archaic-socialist realistic soup set, with the characters clichéd to the indecent. However, Soviet types were indeed made as if in a factory and were absolutely standard. In general, the series is rather bad than good, like 90% of the Russian state-owned cinema, the essence of which, first of all, is a banal cut of the budget.