Fascinated by mass psychology and indoctrination, Dutch filmmaker Daya Cahen has been making documentaries in Russia for years now. In 2006, she went looking for Stalin's grandson in The Stalin that Was Played by Me, and in 2008 she got the rare opportunity to film in a summer camp of Putin's youth movement for the film Nashi. This time around, Cahen goes to Cadet School Number 9, a unique military academy in Mosow, where girls age 11-17 learn how to become the ideal Russian patriot and the ideal Russian woman. She does not interview anyone, but tells the story by placing as many as six different images on the screen at the same time. We see girls doing their hair, cooking, ironing, marching and learning to use weapons. The footage reveals various aspects of their personalities while simultaneously posing the question of how all those aspects can be seen independently of one another. While they sing the praises of the great Russian nation, we cannot help but notice the contrast between military indoctrination and youthful innocence. Does patriotism require us to renounce any form of independent thought and action? Do these girls really know what they are doing, and is that even possible at their age?
Wybrane nagrody i festiwale /Selected festivals and awards: 2010 – MFF Amsterdam/IDFA
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