The fuss around the "Dragon": in some cities Schwartz's play is banned, in others it is awarded

The fuss around the "Dragon": in some cities Schwartz's play is banned, in others it is awarded
The fuss around the "Dragon": in some cities Schwartz's play is banned, in others it is awarded
4 July, 13:15CulturePhoto: Кадр из фильма
The authorities of the city of Ivanovo banned the screening of the film "Kill the Dragon" based on the play by Evgeny Schwartz, and the authorities of Nizhny Tagil, on the contrary, awarded the performance based on the same play

Ivan Zubov

Social networks are full of reports that the Ivanovo mayor's office has banned local activists from showing the Soviet film Kill the Dragon. About the vigilance of officials, frightened by the film adaptation of the famous parable by playwright Yevgeny Schwartz "Dragon", directed by Mark Zakharov, writes the publication 7x7.

However, less than a month ago, the mayor of another Russian city, Nizhny Tagil, Vladislav Pinaev, dressed up in a T-shirt with the letter Z, personally presented the award of the festival of theaters of small peoples of Russia precisely for a performance based on the same play. It was presented by the theater studio "Gran" from Novokuibyshevsk in the Samara region.

Recall that in Soviet times this work by Schwartz was banned for a long time from staging, and during perestroika Zakharov shot his famous film based on the script by Grigory Gorin.

According to its plot, people from a fictional city live in fear of the Dragon, who every year takes a girl from the city to his cave, whom no one will ever see again. The brave Lancelot kills the dragon and saves his next victim, the power in the city passes to the Burgomaster, who soon turns into the same tyrant himself.

Film critic Leonid Pavlyuchik writes about this: “In 1944, Yevgeny Schwartz’s play Dragon, based on which Zakharov’s film was made, was banned by Stalinist censorship. The play was banned for 18 years. Our story goes around...

“The more “Kill the Dragon” becomes about Russia, the less of it will remain in Russia,” complains Malyuta Skuratov, quoting excerpts from this play: “Well, understand, he is here (points to his head); I will now make everyone understand this and kill the dragon ... in myself! You understand?! In itself!"

But the writer Alina Vitukhnovskaya rightly remarks about both the Schwartz play itself and its film adaptation:

“Nostalgia is a dangerous feeling, the oil of the local gerontocrats. The passion of local educated people for the times when "there was nothing but books" is nothing more than a passion for the Soviet Union, for socialism, in principle.

That's why they still mentally live in the 70s, with this endless quoting of clichéd silly generalities like "Kill the Dragon". Intellectually passive, with a fig in their pocket, posing no danger to the authorities.

Traditionalists and reactionaries here do not oppose, but only formally oppose the systemic liberals, showing in fact a single whole, like all the simplest pseudo-dichotomies..."

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