Image of Russia and Russians in Polish Historical Films (On Materials of Expert Interviews)

Sergey I. Belov – PhD in History Sciency, Scientific Secretary, Museum of Victory. Moscow, Brat’ev Fonchenko street, 10, Russia, 121170. E-mail:
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DOI 10.24833/2071-8160-2018-4-61-204-218 (Read the article in PDF)

The presented research is devoted to the mapping of Russia and Russians in the Polish historical cinema in the XX – early XXI centuries. The aim of the work is to assess the positioning of Russia and the Russians in Polish historical films. The study is intended to enrich the concept of the essence of the politics of memory of Poland and the content of the historical memory of its citizens. Article materials can be used for professional needs by diplomats, journalists, representatives of international public organizations, experts in the field of patriotic education and organization of work with young people. During the collection and processing of the identified array of information, methods such as traditional analysis and expert interviews were used. The conducted researches showed that when creating images of Russia and its inhabitants in the Polish historical cinema, the tendency of negative positioning, determined by the political conjuncture and cultural stereotypes, dominated. For the formation of appropriate images, manipulative practices based on appealing to the sphere of emotions and using symbols with archetypal implication were used. The films of the period before 1939 and the post-Soviet era are related not only to the content, but also the technological side: in both cases, the creators used strategies to create images of someone else’s and phantom enemies, demonization and dehumanization. These techniques were used to reflect not only the Soviet period of Russian history, but also the pre-revolutionary era. Accordingly, not only the Soviet regime, but Russia, acting as the historical, eternal enemy of Poland, was positioned in a negative way.

Key words: image of Russia, politics of memory, historical memory, historical films, Poland, manipulative methods.

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