chapter  10
The Image of Women in Contemporary Soviet Cinema
ByFrançoise Navailh
Pages 20

The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 proclaimed the full liberation of women and granted them equal political and civil rights. For several decades, the Soviet Union claimed that the “woman question” had been finally solved. By the mid-1960s, however, the question of women’s rôles emerged once again as a subject of serious public discussion. A growing array of scholarly studies by economists, sociologists and demographers began to document in some detail a long list of problems. The heavy and conflicting demands of women’s dual rôles appear as a major locus of female dissatisfaction. The tensions it creates receive direct expression in contemporary Soviet fiction. Natalia Baranskaia’s evocation of “A week like any other”1 in the harried life of a young Soviet wife and mother captures the findings of innumerable surveys in one dramatic image.