Soviet and Post-Soviet Memory. The Case of The Young Guard

Sat9  Apr02:00pm(10 mins)
Teaching Room 6


Olga Gradinaru


The anti-fascist organization Molodaya gvardiaThe Young Guard in a Ukrainian town is the main focus of the present analysis, offering us glimpses into the Soviet myth-making and hero-making cycle. The presentation unveils the ideological and cultural patterns during the Soviet period, with a focus on A. Fadeyev’s novel and on the Soviet and post-Soviet film adaptations. The case of The Young Guard organization generated a frenzy of artistic representations throughout the Soviet Union. Moreover, it was the source for as a fascinating phenomenon of documentary film-making both in Soviet and post-Soviet period, with various degrees of demystification of World War II myths and symbols.

The first film adaptation (1948, edited in 1964), directed by Sergey Gerasimov, was followed by two Russian TV series The Last Confession (4 episodes, 2006) and The Young Guard (12 episodes, 2015). Both post-Soviet TV series are relevant examples for the necessity of re-writing the famous Soviet narratives about historical events from Krasnodon during the fascist occupation in 1942-1943. We analyse differences in describing and perceiving the heroic/ (de)heroicized death in various historical periods, emphasizing the continuance of some Soviet propaganda traits as part of the post-Soviet cult of World War II.

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