Russian Media‎ > ‎

Kirill Serebrennikov on the banning of the showing of the film 'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer' (Facebook)

posted 30 Dec 2013, 01:33 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 30 Dec 2013, 02:52 ]
28 December 2013 

Kirill Serebrennikov

Source: Facebook page of Kirill Serebrennikov

Photo: Wikipedia

Even recently in all my interviews I asserted like a mantra: “There’s no censorship in the theatre, there’s no censorship in the theatre, in the theatre there’s no...” That’s it, we’re fucked, there’s censorship in the theatre! Cynical, pointless and idiotic.

Now any freedom, any desire to find sense, any desire to express oneself – it’s all stuck in the impenetrable gloom and hassle which has arrived, filled all the space around us and controls us. We thought that somewhere – in the theatre, in the “trendy” cafes, at home, or at the computer – there was still a little free air. It’s like climbing on top of a wardrobe in a flood and looking for salvation under the ceiling, where there’s still some air. That’s it! We’re fucked! There’s no air! The “overwhelming majority” got the air. It – this majority – orders a government for itself, and the government orders the music to amuse and delight this majority.

They’ve banned us from holding the premiere of the film “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” and a meeting with Nadia Tolokonnikova and Masha Alyokhina. Maxim Pozdorovkin had flown in specially from New York. All the work of Irina Prokhorova, who was supposed to host the conversation, has been cancelled. After a whole day of tense negotiations a banning document arrived from the department of culture at my request, which signifies one thing: censorship in action. That’s it, it’s over! Who could be so afraid of a peaceful conversation between a few hundred audience members at the Gogol Centre and some young women who have been amnestied? Who could be so afraid of the premiere of a film that has received a pile of prizes and that can’t tell us anything new either about the government or about ourselves, as it was made rather a long time ago? I don’t get it...
The premiere and the conversation won’t happen.

At the Moscow Art Theatre they’d only just finished the prosecutor’s checks on my play The Pillowman, when a whole series of letters and appeals appeared from “outraged and offended” citizens about Kostya Bogomolov’s play. They demand Tabakov’s resignation. They demand “a lawsuit”, “a ban”, “a closure”... And it’s clear that this isn’t just an increase in seasonal schizophrenia – this is very real religious censorship. We’re fucked! Welcome! We’ve made it! Now the fanatics will tell us how to put on plays, what we can do and say on stage, and what we can’t. Everyone knows what’s happening at the Moscow Art Theatre, everyone reads the news. And where are all our professional societies? Why are you silent? Did you piss yourselves? Well done! Next time they’ll come for you.

And finally – an ethical Charter for the “fuckoff” of cinematographers – who have concluded an accord by this fucking symphony. Censorship that they’re trying to bring in not by the hands of bureaucrats, not by the clergy, but now by the hands of our colleagues themselves – the most adroit and nimble students of “the Dragon”. This is what’s the most disgusting and odious. Yes, a weak person, but it’s possible even for this weak person just to go around it, it’s possible to try “not to be, not to participate, not to do it”, but it’s possible to happily kick down a comrade, help him to fall, make sure he doesn’t get up, and at the same time be happy at the “elimination of a rival”. You’re living right, friends! It’ll all work out for you.
To sum up, it’s a shame that we’ve had to cancel the event. For me it’s unbelievably repulsive and foul. I never thought that, to speak in the words of the classics, “I’d fall into such fucking crap”. I call on all people for whom the concepts of honesty and freedom are alive, for whom the worth and right of an artist to create speak freely are important, to rally round and oppose the coming Gloom. In word, in action, in art, whatever you can do.
And I hope that when this shameful bullshit ends, we, remembering all this, will laugh at ourselves, and will write the truth about this petty little period. If “the overwhelming majority” doesn’t cancel us, the truth and everything else before then. But experienced people tell me that because of our cowardice and laziness this “bullshit” will never end.

Translated by Sarah Hurst

For the letter to Kirill Serebrennikov from the head of the Moscow city department of culture, see HERE