chapter  11
Russian Nationalist Themes in Soviet Film of the 1970s
ByJohn B. Dunlop
Pages 18

During the 1970s and early 1980s, the Russian nationalist tendency made its presence increasingly felt in Soviet society. In two recent books, The Faces of Contemporary Russian Nationalism (1983) and The New Russian Nationalism (1985),1 I showed that Russian nationalism can be seen primarily as a desire to preserve: to preserve ethnic Russians themselves from sociodemographic attrition (the result of such perceived plagues as the breakup of the family, plummeting birth rates, and juvenile delinquency); to preserve Russian historical monuments, especially ancient churches, from the wrecker’s ball and bulldozer; to preserve the endangered Russian environment from defilement and pollution; to preserve the national religion, Russian Orthodoxy, from extinction. It also seeks to preserve the nineteenth-century Russian classics (Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, etc.) from neglect, and it manifests a strong suspicion of modernization, urbanization and the so-called “scientific and technical revolution”.