Mythologeme of Asceticism in the National Cinema the 1930s

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The article is devoted to the mythologeme of asceticism, widespread in the domestic cinema of the 1930s and closely connected with the mythmaking of the Soviet system, the ideology of which was largely based on the moral principles of Christianity. Acting as the “apparatus of agitation”, the cinema of the “big style” created a new mythology, its cultural hero was an ascetic who orders chaos and ready for self-sacrifice for the sake of the common good.

A distinctive feature of the “big style” was the so-called mythological triad: the party (invisibly present behind the scenes) — the mentor and the pupil (the teacher Sergeyev – the homeless Mustafa in the Road to Life, the secretary of the district committee — Sasha Sokolova in the Member of the Government, etc.).

The pupil — in the past standing at the lowest level of the social hierarchy finds its “light way” by successfully realizing the main socialist message “who was nothing will become everything”.

Ascetic is an innovator and an envoy of Soviet power, a mediator between her and the people, dictating to society a new moral code (Teacher, Member of the Government).

Mass promotion of women as one of the most oppressed members of society to key positions occurred in the 1930s. At this time, the Cinderella archetype literally blossoms: the fate of a woman from the people becomes a living embodiment of the idea of a society of equal opportunities (Member of the Government, The Light Road, Volga-Volga, Jolly Fellows).

While the official equality of citizens is declared at the state level, true equality and spiritual kinship of souls are achieved only through personal achievements for the benefit of the country.

For a happy family life and successful self-fulfillment in the work collective, asceticism was an indispensable condition and a natural form of existence, prescribed “from above” by the norm of life.

Thus, the idea of asceticism as the main principle of Christianity will become the basis of a new mythology, proposed by the Soviet power instead of the forbidden religion.

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Zubkina Yuliya V

Competitor of Ph degree, Screenwriter

S.A.Gerasimov Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK)
, 3, Wilhelm Pik street, 129226 Moscow, Russia

Author for correspondence.


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