Philistines on the big screen

Consumerism in soviet cinema of the Brezhnev era

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As living standards improved in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, the regime was faced with a challenge of growing consumerism among its population, especially young people. In these new circumstances, it became important to define the boundaries between acceptable norm and unacceptable excess in socialist consumption, and cinema took an active part in the public discussion that ensued. This article considers a wide range of popular films by a variety of directors, including those that often fall off the film historian’s radar, to assess this contribution and to investigate the film-makers’ motives for engaging with the topic of consumption. The article argues that the individual’s relationship with material goods was a very prominent theme in Brezhnev-era cinema, but also one fraught with many contradictions, reflecting Soviet society’s own conflicting attitudes to modern consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-254
Number of pages28
JournalStudies in Russian and Soviet Cinema
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Brezhnev
  • Byt
  • Consumerism
  • Consumption and socialism
  • Riazanov
  • Soviet cinema

Cite this

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abstract = "As living standards improved in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev, the regime was faced with a challenge of growing consumerism among its population, especially young people. In these new circumstances, it became important to define the boundaries between acceptable norm and unacceptable excess in socialist consumption, and cinema took an active part in the public discussion that ensued. This article considers a wide range of popular films by a variety of directors, including those that often fall off the film historian’s radar, to assess this contribution and to investigate the film-makers’ motives for engaging with the topic of consumption. The article argues that the individual’s relationship with material goods was a very prominent theme in Brezhnev-era cinema, but also one fraught with many contradictions, reflecting Soviet society’s own conflicting attitudes to modern consumption.",
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Philistines on the big screen : Consumerism in soviet cinema of the Brezhnev era. / Chernyshova, Natalya.

In: Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema, Vol. 5, No. 2, 01.01.2011, p. 227-254.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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