This segment of Black Bim White Ear reminds me that I’ve been somewhat surprised by the portrayal of people’s interactions with police in movies from the Soviet era.
I wasn’t surprised that in Moskva slezam ne verit, Katerina tells her daughter that they shouldn’t call the police about some bullies who have been harassing her boyfriend, that they should handle the situation themselves. That’s kind of what I would expect in a police state. Even in the U.S. people sometimes have the idea that you should never talk to the police — which is not quite the same thing, but it’s not completely different, either.
But there are movies like Black Bim where people are quick to call the police (who seem to be always nearby, unlike in the U.S. where you can call 911 and sometimes wait a long time before anyone comes). And they are quick to berate the police for not doing their jobs.
Officer: “Who shouted?”
Man: “Why don’t you watch? Dogs at a street crossing of a regional center.”
I might think this was taking place in a Potemkin village, except the same sort of thing happens on planet Pluk in Kin-Dza-Dza.
There are of course people in the U.S. who will mouth off to the police. (I remember seeing the bumper sticker on a car that would tend to attract police attention even without it, “Bad cop. No Donut.”) But there are Russian movies in which “respectable” people do it, as happens on the street and at the police station in Belyy Bim.
So I wonder if that sort of thing was portrayed realistically, or if the sort of relationship in Moscow Has No Room for Tears was more realistic, or if both were realistic, depending on time and place.