Toast of the TV in Russian Eyes: It's SolzhenitsynBreaking News
The show, a 10-part series that began Jan. 29 and ends Thursday, is part of an industry here catering to what seems to be a growing interest in adaptations of the great works of Russian literature, some of them books that were banned in Soviet times. It began with Dostoyevsky's "Idiot" in 2004, includes less familiar Soviet-era works like "Master and Margarita" and "The Golden Calf," and will reach a climax of sorts this spring with the broadcast of a Russian adaptation of "Doctor Zhivago."
The first episode of "The First Circle" was the most watched program in the nation last week, narrowly edging out "Terminator 3," according to TNS Gallup Media. By this week, though, it had slipped to fifth place, at least in Moscow — national figures were not yet available. But it was still attracting 15 million viewers a night.
"I assumed that bringing it to the screen would be possible in 300 years," the director, Gleb Panfilov, said in a television interview, recalling his desire to make the film after first reading "The First Circle" while it was still banned, some 30 years ago. "But it happened earlier."
The series is the first Russian film based on Solzhenitsyn's writings. In a country where attitudes toward the Soviet history remain deeply conflicted, it amounts to the popularization of some of the darkest episodes.
"The young people today say: 'Oh, he is not a good writer. Communism is over. He is not so interesting,' " the writer Viktor Yerofeyev said in a telephone interview. "In the history of Russia, he is in the first place."
"It is like Germany after the war," Mr. Yerofeyev added. "In two or three generations people really start thinking about what happened in their country."
Solzhenitsyn, now 87, is credited as the screenwriter and narrates long passages. He also served as a consultant during filming, advising the crew on how to recreate the claustrophobic atmosphere of the network of forced labor camps known as the Gulag, where he served eight years after criticizing Stalin in 1945. "There is not one drop of falsehood," his wife, Natalya, told Izvestia.
comments powered by Disqus
- Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence at a Private Dinner
- The JFK assassination files lead back to Seattle
- Princeton investigates its connection to slavery at a two-day symposium
- Rare Documents Show a Palm Reader's Take on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
- A Photo of Billy the Kid Bought for $10 at a Flea Market May Be Worth Millions
- Historian Says Textbooks Have Shaped Our Attitudes On Race
- Heather Ann Thompson says what went on at Attica is worse than we thought
- Princeton’s Jan T. Gross warns that Poland’s showing signs of turning decisively in a fascist direction
- Gar Alperovitz is still pushing to make America more democratic
- Robert Dallek: “The fish rots from the head”