The Reception of Leviathan in Light of Two Soviet ‘Cultural Scandals’: A Revival of Soviet Rhetoric and Values?

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Andrei Zviagintsev’s award-winning movie “Leviathan” (2014) triggered a fierce debate among domestic audiences in Russia. It was blamed for being anti-Russian and slandering Russian life. The rhetoric of these accusations reminded many Russians of Soviet-era campaigns against writers and filmmakers. This article analyses the film’s reception by different audiences, of which the most critically harsh and insistent voice was that of the Orthodox activists. The article also attempts to connect expressions of patriotism and shared identity with Soviet-era models. In this context, it discusses Stalin-era cultural control with a special focus on two Thaw-era literary scandals: the controversies about Vladimir Dudintsev’s novel (1956) and Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize (1958).
TidskriftTranscultural Studies: a series in interdisciplinary research
Sidor (från-till)92–114
Antal sidor23
StatusPublicerad - 2016
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 6131 Teater, dans, musik, övrig scenkonst

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