Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Saturday 28 November 2009

A Brave Man I think

This time it's Russia. I have generally concentrated on Russia's soviet past in previous postings hereabouts, but today I shall mention something contemporary.

There is, in reality, little real freedom of speech in the so-called democratic west; in recent Russia there appears to be rather less. There have been several murders of certain characters who had, it seems, the effrontery to criticise the system (a.k.a the Kremlin) and a distinctly laggardly approach to solving these dreadful crimes. Recently a lawyer has died in prison in Moscow, apparently as a consequence of the authorities withholding medical treatment. Of course President Medvedev has ordered an inquiry. I doubt if anything will happen though; I seem to recall that the president has ordered various inquiries... I have a nasty feeling that his prime-ministerial colleague is unlikely to be in accord.

Anyway, today's post concerns Russian outrage over a new film about the first Tsar: Ivan the Terrible. A prominent historian, Vyacheslav Manyagin, has asked that President Medvedev ban the film as it is deemed to be "an insult to Russian statehood" (!) Obviously M. Manyagin is not the "brave man" I referred to in my title.

The brave man is M. Pavel Lungin who directed the film. In response to these criticisms he made a very brave (especially in today's Russia) response. He said, in an interview with the Moscow Times:

"We can see a lot of the characteristics of his power today [...] After his reign, Russia was left behind in the process of progress. We have made no headway since that time."

I found this story reported in today's Daily Telegraph. Full article here.

Here's a picture from the film:

Nice... Picture source, here.

I sincerely wish M. Lungin a long and successful career...

Until the next time

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