Her Mother was the then State Secretary of the Party… she, once, landed a slap on her daughter’s face when the latter asked her a somewhat awkward question. The Mother was well aware of the fact that it was not possible for persons, belonging to one particular generation, to be aware of the answers to all the questions that get raised! It is rather the fact that each and every generation has their own set of questions, and they get to find their answers in their own fashion. That’s the note how 63-year-old Russian Master Andrei Konchalovsky‘s new film ‘Dear Comrades’ (released in Russia on November 12, 2020) ends.
The movie is based on the Khrushchev Era. The soaring food prices had rocked the erstwhile Soviet Union in the years around 1962. Workers at a factory in the city of Novocherkassk, situated in the fertile basin of the Don River, called for a strike. The Youths joined the protests, as well…
These types of protests staged by the Workers in a Socialist Nation, obviously, disturbed the concerned Authorities in the Kremlin. Senior officials of KGB, and of course the Leaders of the Party held a meeting in order to implement a strategy for identifying the Counter-Revolutionary Terrorists! While lots of arguments and counter-arguments were going on during the meeting, the Armed Forces reportedly gunned down at least 20 workers, and secretly buried their bodies! Old KGB documents, kept in archives, revealed the genocide after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991!
Veteran Filmmaker Konchalovsky, in his film, has portrayed the incident mentioned above in a different manner. The Mother, portrayed there, witnessed the atrocities during the Second World War as a leader of the Communist Party. She was worried about soaring food prices, naturally! As the leaders of the Central Committee of the Party in Moscow assured people that the standard of living would improve soon, she thought that it would be better to accept the ‘temporary’ suffering for the sake of a better future. However, the Daughter and her friends were reluctant to accept this. “If Stalin was so bad, then why did Khrushchev not say anything before? Why did you people maintain silence?” she asked her Mother… and, in answer to that, her Mother slapped her…
Konchalovsky did not reveal the identity of the person who ordered the Armed Forces to shoot the workers. The workers could not imagine that the Government would give such an order. The KGB officials had a different view on this issue, as they were not interested in unarmed workers and soldiers. Hence, no one knows whether the order came from Moscow, or somewhere else! Russia knows the horrors of ‘One Country, One Government, One Law’!
‘Blindfold’ (released on October 27, 2020) is the debut feature-length film of Ukrainian Director Taras Dron. The heroine of the movie is a boxer, and her boyfriend has gone missing during the War. The boyfriend’s Mother believes that her son is still alive. She also wants the girl to believe so! It’s not that her would-be mother-in-law is a bad person. She brings milk for the girl, every day. The Coach tells her that she will have to win major events. The Society tells her to live with the memory of the missing boyfriend. The Ukrainian girl deals with aspirations of different persons on a regular basis. Women have been taking various responsibilities for many centuries!
In her 2020 biographical period drama film ‘Miss Marx’, Director Susanna Nicchiarelli narrated the struggle of another lady, Eleanor Marx. Eleanor (January 16, 1855 – March 31, 1898), the youngest daughter of Karl Marx, was a Socialist Activist and a literary Translator. She made an attempt to link the Communist Movement with Women’s Liberation. Once, Karl Marx’s most favourite child said: “My father wanted Equal Rights for Men and Women even in the Labour Movement.” While writing Das Capital in London, her father used to tell little Eleanor many tales. In fact, her father – a lover of literature – had once encouraged Eleanor to translate French Novelist Gustave Flaubert‘s ‘Madame Bovary‘ and other works. She, even, translated her father’s Das Capital in the English language.
Eleanor’s life, as it has been depicted, was full of tragedy! Once, Eleanor came to know that Friedrich Engels’ adopted son, Freddy, was his step-brother! She revealed that Karl Marx was Freddy’s biological father. Eleanor ignored her father’s advice and decided to live together with Edward Aveling (November 29, 1849 – August 2, 1898), a prominent English Biology Instructor and popular spokesperson for Darwinian Evolution, Atheism and Socialism. Edward, using his pen-name Alec Nelson, used to write novels. All of a sudden, Eleanor revealed that her husband had secretly married his mistress, a young actress, named Eva Frye. It proved a fatal blow for Eleanor. As she was deeply depressed by the faithlessness of the man she loved, Eleanor reportedly committed suicide by consuming Hydrogen Cyanide.
Karl Marx’s large-hearted daughter used to believe that the Women’s Suffrage Movement lacked a sufficient analysis of what she called the Economic Base of the Sexual Division of Labour. She rejected Women’s Right as a Bourgeois Idea, insisting on considering the Sex Question from the point of view of the Working Class and the Class Struggle. In her revolutionary text, ‘The Woman Question: From a Socialist Point of View’, she laid the foundation of Socialist-Feminism and brought Feminism to the top of the agenda of the International Socialist Movement at the Congress of the Second International held in London in 1896. “Women are the creatures of an organised tyranny of men, as the workers are the creatures of an organised tyranny of idlers,” stressed Eleanor.
The Women’s struggle for existence and assertions continues through generations, in spite of innumerable obstacles…
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