Feb 032008

I wasn’t sure what in the movie Kin-dza-dza would have made it a difficult one to get past the Soviet censors. Maybe this scene near the end would have been seen as subversive. It certainly would be subversive of a lot of what we’re getting from the most fascist elements (i.e. the leading elements) in our own political parties now.

Our protagonists are trying to get back to earth, but don’t want to abandon to a terrible fate the two characters from Pluk who’ve been with them for most of the movie. The sensitive, compassionate head honcho on planet Alpha tells our heros not to worry about those two: “To continue their lives in the form of plants would be a blessing for them.”


And by this time our protagonist cares about more than just taking advantage of the situation for his own ends. He asks, “Can we send for them and ask them what would be a blessing for them and what not?”


How about that? It’s a pro-choice message.

Here’s the YouTube segment these scenes are taken from. It’s the 13th of 14 parts.


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  • Natan Kumanov

    I don’t think this scene could have any problems with censorship. Remember, the idea of censorship was not to maintain the state, it was to maintain the ideology. Censors were not predator birds, but mere bureaucrats with doubtful aesthetic sense and loads of instructions to implement. It was not a fight of all evil with all good, as they like to portray it in a simplifying manner. And that scene insulted the ideology in no way, as well the “Soviet reality”. The scene in “Ivan Vasiliyevich”, when the scientist buys a transistor from a speculator because it’s absent from the state store, is much more “hurtful” to these two, yet it somehow made it through.

    The only occasion of movie that I really wonder how it got past censorship is Garage. I don’t think you would be able to watch it, though. I, a native speaker, had to watch it thrice in order to understand all dialogue well (the movie was worth the time, though). Well, the way it portrayed the “Soviet reality” was really hurting to the image of the last, along with some very open jokes in address to it. I just have to conclude that censorship was not so fierce as they write in books. Well, “fierce” is a bad word; better, not as systematic. It seems to me that it’s a part of Russian life, not being systematic. There may be a democratic system, an a non-democratic system, but Russia is often neither, but merely not a system. That is my impression, at least.