Dec 032007

It’s not surprising that Nikita Mikhailkov is a big Putin supporter. He’s long been accused of being a political chameleon. The Arts section of the New York Times reports on what he’s up to:

Mr. Mikhalkov, on the set of his next movie, which is a military base outside Moscow, responded to these predictions with disdain: Listen to whats on television and radio now and tell me, what limitations do you see? He tried not to look exasperated. Artists are perfectly free, he said. My view is simply that the modus operandi of Russia is enlightened conservatism, meaning hierarchical, religion-soaked, tradition-loving.

Artists may be free, but how long is that going to last in a society where reporters and dissidents are shot and poisoned? Mikhalkov points to the freedom artists enjoy now, but the people he’s responding to are talking about what’s going to happen two years from now.

And if Russia is so comfortable with being hierarchical, why is it necessary to shoot dissident reporters? If Mikhalkov is appealing to what Russia is, why not let it be what it is?

And after reading this article, I’m more irritated than ever by that Burnt by the Sun movie Mikhalkov did. Some reviewers liked the symbolism of that sun. But it wasn’t a sun that got people burned. It was people who did it — people who were given too much control over the lives of other people. The movie avoids that issue. And now Mikhalkov is coming down on the side of a man’s ability to have more of that.