chapter  4
20 Pages

Femininity, patriarchality, and anti-Stalinism in Vladimir Chebotarev’s Wild Honey

WithTatiana Mikhailova

In cinema history of the 1960s, the fate of Wild Honey remains a mystery. The film was released in 1966, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that it was primed for box-office success. Wild Honey was directed by Vladimir Chebotarev, whose credentials were superb after his previous movie, The Amphibian Man, proved a huge hit with the public, drawing more than 60 million viewers. Transforming the Stalinist trope of the Great Family, Wild Honey offer a new trope of the extended social family consisting of dead people. Like in many other films and books about the war, Wild Honey depicts the Great Patriotic War not as a grand historical event but as the accumulation of individual stories. Chebotarev was looking for the embodiment of patriarchal femininity, or in his words, domesticity embodied by the corpulent and voluptuous actress and her demure looks.