Presenting our project "Forgotten Cinema" we decided to focus on Soviet films produced in the seventies of the last century.
It was the time of reaction, time of party's censorship, time when tens of undesirable movies of previous decade were lying on shelves. There were about 125 new films produced annually and 110 of them were forgotten promptly after presenting. Severity of the 70s in Soviet Union resembled the end of 30s, but of course, there were some distinctions.
First of all, the professional level of the Soviet films of the 1970s declined, and as a result we can't see most of them on the screens nowadays. However, some really talented filmmakers were able to pass the censorship and to show people the truth about the real life in Soviet Union.
"Kalina krasnaya” (Red Snowball Tree) (1973) - the last film of Vasily Shukshin as a filmmaker. This film was released only because it was shown personally to Leonid Brezhnev, who was deeply affected and gave his approval.
"Raba lyubvi" (Slave of Love) (1976) - Rustam Khamdamov began to make it but was later removed. The film was given to young film-maker Nikita Mikhalkov, whose “Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh” (Friend Among Strangers, Stranger Among Friends) was recognized as a great success of Soviet cinema. After producing "Raba lyubvi" (Slave of Love) Nikita Mikhalkov raised his repute as a great master.
In the end of the 70s Soviet government aimed to produce films with great commercial potential and it was a task for filmmakers. These films had to become winners of box-office receipts and to show the world that Soviet audience preferred to see Soviet films in Soviet cinemas.
Such films as “Moskva skezam ne verit” (Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears), disaster film “Ekipazh” (The Crew) attracted audiences of 70 million each. But the block buster of the time was “Pirati XX veka” (Pirates of the 20th Century) (1979), that was directed by Boris Durov. This amusing version of Hong Kong's action films gathered audience of 86,7 millions.
So, the beginning of the 70s are presented by "Kalina krasnaya” (Red Snowball Tree), the middle of 70s with "Raba lyubvi" (Slave of Love) and the end of the decade with "Pirati XX veka” (Pirates of the 20th Century).
We would like to continue it as a tradition to present films which were popular in former times but now are forgotten. And the best way to enjoy forgotten films is in cinema!