Soviet History through Soviet Film Series (XIII): Brother
CEES film screening and discussion. Discussant: Michael Heim, UCLA, Slavic Languages and Literatures.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
11348 Young Research Library
Dir. Aleksei Balabanov
Russian with English subtitles
Russia's biggest box office hit in 1997, Alexei Balabanov's Brother is an American-style gangster flick mixed with a pointed social consciousness.
Danila returns from army service to a Saint Petersburg transformed into a casual culture high on music and consumerism. The chaotic atmosphere, carefully depicted by Balabanov's moody camerawork, easily invites the smug, belligerent Danila into a world of crime. Soon the youth is accompanying his brother Viktor, a contract killer for the Russian underworld, on violent escapades where wads of cash and a well-gripped gun are the ultimate symbols of power.
By combining classic motifs of lawlessness with revelatory scenes of a newly-borne Eastern Europe, Brother becomes at once a sardonic movie thriller and a fiercely patriotic political statement.
Michael Heim is Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He translates contemporary and classical fiction and drama from the Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Serbian/Croatian. He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and translation prizes and has served on translation juries for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the PEN American Center, and the Goethe-Institut and was a Guggenheim Fellow. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His teaching interests include translation theory and practice, Central European Literature, and Russian literature and culture.
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Sponsor(s): Center for European and Eurasian Studies, UCLA Charles E. Young Research Library, Slavic Languages and Literatures