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"Territory": there is life there
Alexander Melnikdirector, member of the Guild of Film Directors of Russia
- Most people of the older generation, who in the 1970s came to the east from different parts of the union state - Ukraine, Belarus, Tajikistan - to develop territories, read Oleg Kuvaev's novel "Territory" and were inspired by it. The novel went through 30 editions, including the three million circulation in the "Roman-Gazeta". The plot of the work boils down to the discovery of gold deposits in Chukotka in the middle of the last century. Our film of the same name is a memory of the people who worked in these territories at that time. Thanks to them, we are now drawing from the depths of the Far East and the Arctic, gold, various minerals, oil and gas.
- Alexander Vladimirovich, perhaps in today's realities the film "Territory" should, like Kuvaev's book in the past, encourage people to go to work in the Far East?
- You see, it is impossible to attract a Russian person - in this multinational concept the word “Russian” - to attract only with money. We explored the North in a different way, not because there were big earnings there, but because we wanted to do it. We went there with joy! I am a hydrologist by profession and in the 1970s I often visited the Far East. I met a huge number of happy people there - young, talented, educated, who lived an amazing life, because they had everything. The main thing is that they had a world filled with content.
Since then nothing has changed. First you need to go, see with your own eyes and fall in love. If they come to this territory for the ruble, not all will get accustomed. Examples from modern life confirm this.
- What is the main theme of the film?
- Why did this substitution of concepts take place?
- Because the consumer civilization, in order to survive, is aimed at a constant increase in the number of goods sold. We work to buy and vice versa. We do not have time to stop to read books, to concentrate on something important. We are now being told that our cinema is not in the format: people come to the cinema to have fun, and you make us think. They say that we are filming that is not of interest to young people. This is not true. We not only force us to think - some people cry after the film, some have a change in mood. That is, with our work, we still reanimate the soul and moods. A person suddenly realizes that what he is doing is necessary not only for him alone.
We shot films in Provideniya Bay in Chukotka and on the Putorana plateau in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. A paradoxical situation: a lot of people told us stories that some person moved to the mainland, for example, having built a house in Gelendzhik, but “dies” due to the fact that he lacks this boundless space. He, accustomed to enjoying freedom all his life, returns back to the Far East: it seems to him that without the ocean, hills, wind, fish - all this polyphony - life is over. And this is the fundamental characteristic of the Russian people.
- What inspired you to create "Territory" - a book or a global idea?
- Everything is interconnected. When I was in the last years of the institute, a book came out. It was read to her throughout the country and beyond. After that I worked on expeditions in different parts of the Far East and Siberia: in Chukotka, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, in Primorye, Yakutia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrugs, Murmansk Region. After you have been there at least once, you will no longer need any additional explanations. In the evening by the fire, you will dream of the eternal: above you - the stars, next to - an endless space of sand and water.
Kuvaev's book has always been in me, and when my comrades-in-arms appeared, fired up with the idea of making a film, we started to work. By the way, the premiere of the film will take place in February 2015 - to the 40th anniversary of the release of the novel, and in April - the release of the screens.
- That is, you fell into the trend of "turning to the east" announced by the federal authorities?
- Did you rely on famous actors?
- We relied on good actors - on actors who are real. Often the concepts of "real" and "famous" coincide, often not. The actor may be famous, as he was put in a lineup, promoted, but as a dramatic actor he may not represent anything. We tried to take people who were able to live the fate of the hero on the screen. And all the actors without exception: Konstantin Lavronenko, Grigory Dobrygin, Egor Beroev, Ksenia Kutepova, Evgeny Tsyganov - managed to cope with the task.
- In your opinion, has the actors' idea of the Far East changed?
- Naturally. In the life of any actor, the situation may no longer repeat when he finds himself in such conditions. It is experience and enjoyment. This is a drive.
There were probably people who refused to go on the expedition. We are structured in such a way that we first count money, and then think through life options. A person who lives somewhere in the Lower Tunguska or in the remote area in the north of the Khabarovsk Territory did not notice the fluctuations in the exchange rate. Today he went hunting, tomorrow he will fish. And if he is still a little philosopher, he is really happy. This is a world that is built a little differently than our world of big cities, in which there is nothing left but money. We hope our film will show people living in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Orel, Voronezh that you can fly to the Far East like birds: get drunk water, work, raise children and return home happy.
- Please share your recipe for happiness in the big city.