Andrey Konchalovsky's documentary film "The Cheerful Man" was released in Russia, which domestic liberals (and the director himself belonged to until recently) called "propaganda of the existing government".
All the numerous characters in the picture somehow spin, invent something, find joy in the simplest things and are not at all going to arrange pickets and revolutions. Moreover, each of them does something for the good of the fatherland.
For example, a young chemist Nikolai Panyushev, laureate of the All-Russian competition "Teacher for Russia", left a prestigious scientific work at the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg and moved to Staraya Russa, to teach chemistry, biology and five more subjects at a village school - teachers in the outback enough.
Andrey Konchalovsky posted a photo of Nikolai Panyushev and a link to his social networks on his blog to explain what he was guided by when creating his film.
To a reasonable question: “Is there propaganda in your “Cheerful Man”? Is propaganda in art possible at all? ”, The director replied:
“This is an interesting word - propaganda. Avicenna remarkably said: "The doctor has three weapons: a word, a plant and a knife." And very often a real doctor is someone who will give you hope, even if you are not very healthy. This doctor may be telling a lie, but this untruth heals. Whether to call it propaganda, I do not know.
Therefore, of course, I made a picture so that people would look and say that there is still some kind of hope. If there is no hope - it's rubbish. For the film "The Cheerful Man" I was looking for people who have a very definite point of view, who in this situation, in today's life, find some kind of support. And at the same time, I did not want to go into the film in epic or pathos...
At a press conference at the Moscow International Film Festival, where the film participated in the competition, Andrei Konchalovsky answered, among other things, the questions of “NI”, and in particular, to the following: “What does a Russian person lack today? What is the main deficit?"
- Not enough time. Today it takes four times as long to cope with the vast expanse of Russia. With our "peasant consciousness", with laziness, we cannot dispose of our capabilities and wealth in a civilized manner. A Russian or Russian person lacks the ability to listen and hear. We do not hear the question, but immediately seek the answer. We don't hear the questions: "What to do?" and "Who is to blame?", and immediately think - how to answer them. We are afraid to be mistaken in our answer... There was no bourgeois class in Russia and therefore the peasant consciousness dominates. There is also a peasant consciousness in the Kremlin...
Probably, the main message of the film "Cheerful Man" can be formulated as follows: there are more good people than bad people, but this is not so easy to find, and therefore you just have to endure and do your job.
Andrey Konchalovsky was nominated by GQ magazine for the Person of the Year award in the Director of the Year nomination.