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Izvestiya SOIGSI



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DOI: 10.46698/VNC.2021.79.40.002


Golovnev, Ivan A.
Izvestia SOIGSI. 2021. IIS 40 (79).
In the 1920s in the USSR, the production of so called “cultural films” about the nationalities
and territories of the country was developed. These films were popular with viewers, being the
only opportunity for many to make a film journey through the “Sixth Part of the World”. And
one of the most popular places for filming local history films was the Caucasus – the films made
in the region became a literal discovery of this territory for the population of the capitals and
central regions. This process also had a political background – a project to create a “Cinema-Atlas
of the USSR” – an almanac about Sovietization of a multinational country. The article examines
theoretical developments that have not been presented in the humanitarian circulation, devoted
to the development of ethnographic cinema in the USSR, and tested in practice in the form of
film materials about Kabardino-Balkaria, created by film-director A. Terskoi with the active
participation of the scientific consultant N. Yakovlev. The silent film screen directly or indirectly
reflected the silhouettes of the ideology and politics, identity and culture of a distinctive territory
during the period of historical transformation (from the outskirts of the Russian Empire to the
Soviet autonomous region). Terskoi’s theoretical experiments are a contribution to science, being
one of the earliest domestic concepts of visual anthropology. And his footage reveals regional
features of the implementation of the central programs of Soviet construction. Finally, films
about the Caucasus were a profitable export commodity – they were widely shown at the box
office in foreign countries, shaping in the public consciousness the image of a multi-layered
mountainous country. The conclusion is drawn about the potential of the ethnographic film
document as a historical source and as an actual resource for use in a wide range of modern
scientific and creative practices.
Keywords: ethnographic cinema, Terskoi, Kabardino-Balkaria, Cinema-Atlas of the USSR
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