I did see the magnificent film “Trumbo” recently and found it, unfortunately, to be so truly real. My first impression of that movie was, wow, and then god damns it, because Russia today and the United States from 1947 to 1957 are so similar! The stark similarity is that one of the characteristics of underdeveloped societies, in fact, that the enemy is not a luxury but a necessity. I won’t give you a plot synthesis of Trumbo, as that would spoil the fun; it is far more important and urgent where I am leading you. It’s very simple: Today in Russia, it is sufficient for anyone simply to express publicly one’s own opinion on internal situation differing from destructive Kremlin’s propaganda that he or she would be immediately stigmatized in such terms as “the traitor and the enemy of the people of the country”. And nobody cares that the person with a different opinion might be a talented writer, screenwriter, chess genius, or another genuine professional.
But still, these countries – the United States of the period witch hunt hysteria and modern Russia differ in many respects; for the better or for the worse, I do not dare to estimate, however, I would be delighted if this article found some understanding. So then, I will say it very briefly what we must be aware of living in my own country. Once upon a time I happened to write the movie screenplay and it seemed to be a quite good one; for I am a writer, god damns it again. Naturally, it took a lot of time to work with the script to make it worthy; subsequently this script turned into a novel (soon I’ll talk about it with more details), but at what moment it was just a movie screenplay and nothing more. And of course, I wanted to sell it or at least give it reading to a movie agent, or booking agent, or straight to a film production company.
I honestly spent a lot of time trying to get an agent for my screenplay or find some film studio, entertainment company, or motion picture company – any fucking place to submit my work; and as you may have already guessed, I was unsuccessful. There are only closed film associations in Russia, without accurately organization's quality system helping the companies to trace scripts and infuse new blood into our entire national cinema. I even found the script which was sold at the internet flea market for insignificant amount of money (about one-third of average monthly income in Moscow). Someone, maybe out of desperation and probably out of a simple lack of faith in movie institutions, posted his work on the internet in the hope of obtaining at least some money. After this situation it naturally became clear for me, professional screenwriters simply don’t exist in my country; therefore today’s cinema of Russia is as far from Hollywood as possible. But it’s not the end. There is no money in the music and photography, in the fashion and photo industry ... I can count all our anti-achievements but it does not give your practical benefit. It is what it is and there is nothing else to do.
In conclusion, I hasten to add that I was terribly jealous of the movie protagonist Dalton Trumbo – a top screenwriter whose talent places him among the elite of Hollywood. After appearing on the blacklist, he still got some opportunities keeping a big family with his ten fingers. In other words, he didn’t die of hunger and poverty at a ditch under the bridge. Although our writers and scriptwriters don’t usually die of starvation by some miracle, no one would say they are living.