chapter  15
4 Pages

Music in the role of step-daughter. Multiple music clichés in the genre of biographical film.

Musical films were, perhaps, the least numerous group in post-war film production. That period (1946-1952), known in the history of Soviet cinema by the sad term 'film-famine' ('malokartinye') was marked by an extraordinary flowering in the genre of biographical film. Suffice it to say that within a six-year period only about twenty pictures were released, dealing with outstanding scientists of the past, war generals, writers, travellers, musicians. The choice of historic persons to be 'immortalized' on the screen was arbitrary enough. It was difficult to see the reason for it, except for one rather obvious detail: the hero of the picture was to be identified with the nation and all the progressive people of his time, on the one hand, and to undergo all kinds of oppression and persecution, to be in active or passive opposition to the czar and his retinue, and to suffer injustice at the hands of those in power, on the other. Moreover, all their actions, as well as their numerous monologues, had to be absolutely sinless and prophetic and carry 'the light of truth'. Considered from the standpoint of the present, it can be seen how tendentious such an approach was, distorting historic truth in order to serve the ideological dogmas of Stalinist policy.