“People can still be saved if they are not left alone with Solovyov.” Andrey Loshak on breaking the ties between supporters and opponents of the war

Fracture within families

- War gives a huge number of topics, but you chose this one. Why?

- The idea to show the split in families arose back in 2014. Then, because of the Crimea and Donbass, I noticed that the crack lay not only between states, but also between close people. But if you honestly answer the question about what you did during these eight years, then after 2014 and until 2022 we did not particularly remember this story. Ukraine existed on TV like a scarecrow, like a meme from the series “Do you want to be like in Ukraine?”. Well, okay, "Crimea is ours?" ... and let's move on.

This is the question of the responsibility of each of us for what happened. Since 2014, I have not even thought about doing anything on this topic. But after February 24, this idea quickly returned. I saw a lot of comments on social networks and I immediately offered: “Do you want to participate?”. I had to shoot two sides, between which the connection was lost, because this is where dramaturgy is born. Then "Present Time" appeared, which agreed to become a platform for this film. For a month and a half we dug, collected stories. Filming took place from the beginning of April until May 9.

- How difficult was it to find and persuade these heroes to act in films?

“It’s not hard to find, because there were a lot of them in my information bubble. But persuasion is difficult. You write to a person, he replies: “Yes, I am ready, but I don’t want to communicate with my brother or father, because we had a fight. If you want, write yourself. We write, and we are "sent". Or people themselves turn to their parents, and they categorically refuse to talk to agents of the West, because they are filming for “Present Tense”. It was difficult to persuade exactly the side that was “Za”. I'm not calling from Evening with Solovyov.

It is difficult to persuade the side that is “Za”. I'm not calling from Evening with Solovyov.

Nevertheless, we found seven couples who agreed. And I am very grateful to them. This is a responsible and friendly decision, because for those who are "against" it is a risk to their career and future. But for those who are in favor, this is also a courageous decision, because they know on which channel it will be shown.

- Have you thought about inviting a third party - experts, psychologists?

- There were such thoughts. And there was even a list of such experts. But then I realized that this is unethical in relation to the heroes of the film. You sort of put yourself in the position of a scientist and an anthropologist who studies human behavior. This is a dishonest and snobbish approach that devalues ​​their participation. It is more conscientious to make yourself a commentator. As a filmmaker, I am entitled to my opinion. This is a dialogue of equals, because I am not an expert, but just a citizen of the country with my own opinion. My opinion does not coincide with their opinion, and I try to understand what they think. Thus my point of view is introduced.

In addition, one of the heroines, a psychologist from London, Natalya Markovich, explores this phenomenon on a professional level. She made a website that plays on the idea of ​​the Ukrainian project papover.com, created after a guy from Ukraine started writing to his father in Russia. Natalia made the site mamapover.com, and it is more aimed at women. There she tries to refute their arguments about the war, but gently, like a psychologist, with an understanding of their position. Natalya explains that all this is similar to the behavior of members of a totalitarian sect, who are very difficult to "pull out". Most people have no way of doing this, it's easier to be in the house and not notice what is happening.

- While working on the film, you probably wanted to get answers to your personal questions? Did it succeed?

“If I don’t understand something, I make a movie about it. So it was in 2014 with the "Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow", which I made to understand and feel these people. Because the perception through social networks is hypertrophied.

I don't find answers why people's logic stops working. Why do they stop seeing reality, and instead they see an altered picture that is broadcast to them from TV. Why does the cause-and-effect relationship break? Is this some kind of phenomenon from the Russian soul? I think that the point here is not in national specifics, but in how propaganda and human psychology work. I have not received answers to questions about why they think so. But what is important is that I felt behind the representatives of these beliefs people, people suffering and feeling, people who are not hopeless. They can still be saved if they are not cursed and left alone with Solovyov.

People can still be saved if not cursed and left alone with Solovyov.

This is an important feeling that helps me not to fall into a state of despair and hatred. And it overwhelms when you see the crimes that your compatriots are doing. You want them all to burn in hell. In this state, I just can not work. And why am I even doing something then? It is important for me to get some kind of emotional response from the other side. I want to connect with them to feel these people and not wish them to burn in hell.

- The general feeling of the picture is sad, but in some places there are glimmers of hope for the best, for awakening and finding this very connection so that it closes back.

- I just do not see much hope that they can somehow be persuaded in the short term. But it is important for me to show that these are people, ordinary people who have been brainwashed very badly. And this is certainly their personal fault, personal, of course - they fell for it. But these are people. And our country is made up of these people.

- There is a common opinion that the war is supported by narrow-minded, poorly educated elderly people. However, in the film we see educated, fully amateur, even living abroad.

- We see that among the “elite” there are many educated and much more educated people than me. And they drown for the war. This is not a story about a conventional working class. I was at Uralvagozavod two years ago on a different occasion, I spoke with the workers and nothing like that at all - the mood was extremely protest. The split is not along the lines of education, wealth and age. Yes, there are some sociological segments where there are more or less people. Yes, more of the elderly who found themselves in the Soviet Union and whose wounds have been pierced by Putin's ressentiment. More uneducated people from the outback. There are some patterns, but they are not absolute. My mother is in Germany, where many Russians live with citizenship for many years and vote for Putin, where he wins consistently.

Thousand Hills Television

What is the role of television in this whole situation?

- This is an accomplice and one of the main culprits of what is happening. All these propagandists who are brainwashing our people should be in the dock along with those who ordered the war. They must be punished in the most severe way.

Television propagandists should be in the dock along with those who ordered the war, and should be punished in the most severe way.

- For some time you watched the evolution of Russian television with your own eyes ...

— I have been working for NTV since 1995, for a long time. But in the end I was fired from there. Ever since I got kicked out, I've been a freelancer. I remember the change of power and the purge on NTV. I had nothing to do with this, although our Parfenov team just took a collaborationist position. Then it was all incomprehensible, unobvious and difficult. After all, representatives of that "unique journalistic team" as a result became the most stubborn propagandists. It is not clear in the end why they left NTV. And we did "The Other Day", and it was a milestone in television. But the stigma is also in the cannon, because we also participated. However, I am extremely passive, because I was in Parfyonov's team.

Four years later, Parfenov was fired, and Namedni was closed. In 2004, I started working in the information service and suddenly I found some people with a soldier's bearing. They read your texts and said: “But we don’t say this, we don’t do this, remove it.” A “third branch” appeared, putting things in order. If earlier you could not imagine that there are “double solid”, now everything is covered with them. I worked for the Profession Reporter program for six years and didn't have to go into politics, making stories about culture and social life. And in 2008 my first film was banned, which was about Luzhkov's policy of demolishing historical buildings. I posted it, supposedly it "leaked" to the network. Then a film about youth politics was banned. I had to get used to censorship again, because I grew up during perestroika and glasnost. It seemed to me that we would never return to this. Most of all, I was struck by how the main backbone recruited by Gusinsky from the faculty of journalism, my peers, easily adapted to this, They accepted the rules of the game and even acted as skirmishers. This was the first disappointment in people.

- Were there any discussions in the smoking room?

No, I didn't interact with them at all. Only with Vadik Tokmenev, with whom we worked for six years in Profession Reporter, and who made an amazing evolution. He still broadcasts in prime time. It is physically unpleasant for me to communicate with these people, for me Ostankino is a zone affected by radiation. I tried not to get close to her, while still living in Moscow. People who left there said that in recent years it was impossible to stay there. Very heavy energy.

The big crisis is yet to come

- Do you have such problems in your family with relatives or friends after February 24?

I have the same problem with my cousin. Back in 2014, he took a pro-imperial position, and I simply stopped talking about politics with him. We are the same age, grew up together, went to school alone, but it happened. His mother, my aunt, is also like that. But I still treat them with warmth, I just think that TV should be watched less. I left for Georgia three months ago, and during this time they never called and asked how I was.

- Between people there is an abyss - isn't that how a civil war begins? These Putins will leave, this war will end one way or another, and the two worlds will remain.

Our society is sick. I keep thinking, how was it possible to swallow all this during the reign of this comrade? Wetting freedom, wetting the position of journalists, wetting all those who are against lawlessness. At the same time, people are humiliated, people live poorly, they have no prospects. But they all endure and support it. And what happened to Navalny and his team, with his party. How it was destroyed, and he returned. But a small number of people took to the streets. We all deserve heaven's punishment for this. And Crimea is a huge support for what happened, massive and deep. To act so treacherously towards your closest neighbors, kindred people, with whom everyone has some kind of connection - I also think that this is not karmically forgiven. This boomerang will be returning soon. This sick society can only recover through the crisis that is yet to come. We see that so far no one has realized anything and is not going to do it.

On fascism and racism

- Several Western and Russian political scientists have said that society in Russia is now fascist. However, others said that the main thing is missing for this - there is no ideological full-fledged party that would penetrate to the very bottom. What do you think about fascism in Russia?

—Some consider the broad enthusiasm of the masses to be an important sign of fascism. And I don't see him. I do not see any enthusiasm in these people, except for a few. Rather, they all want this to end as soon as possible and take the position of justifying power simply because it is power and it is easier to join it. There are very few ziggers, soldiers do not rush to the front, and there are not so many volunteers. The frostbitten war party is in an absolute minority. This is not a sign of fascism. But I agree that what is happening fits the definition of rashism. This is a word that Wikipedia already has in twenty languages. For some reason, it is still not available in Russian, but that is how it should be called. This is such a correct definition of the worldview, the policy that is now being pursued in Russia and that state-forming worldview.

— Rashism could be a good title for some kind of documentary.

— I don't like it when it spreads to the whole of Russia and to all Russians. It's a good term to help separate those Russians who support it from those who don't. It is important to understand that now there are two Russias.

Life and work outside Russia

- Do you have to work only for the Internet or can you have film projects? How is personal work?

- I have never done anything festivaly, because by nature I am a journalist, and it is important for me that as many people as possible see it. I don’t think in this festival discourse: shoot something for a long time, then roll it around festivals and collect it. I just work according to a different scheme and, probably, that's why I work with platforms. I had a traumatic experience with Kinopoisk. After that, I realized that I would no longer cooperate with Russian platforms. I thought about how to make money here now. Because no one really has money for my projects, and I could no longer take them from Current Time because of the law on foreign agents. However, the war resolved all my questions - I resumed cooperation with Present Time, which I am glad about.

But now I am frightened by a terrible and vile feeling that I cannot come to Russia. Although I do not have any criminal cases and even the status of a foreign agent. But you can be imprisoned at any moment and everything taken away. I don't want to experiment on myself. At the same time, almost all films about Russia and its inhabitants are the subject of my research and my work. It's like taking a car away from the driver - how will it work? I don't know how we're going to get out of this. But now they got out - we are having remote dialogues. Plus, there are still cool guys in Russia who are ready to help film the story. In general, they somehow got used to it and removed it.

What needs to happen for you to return to Russia?

- I suspect that I can return on one condition - if the government changes. People in Russia are now in a nervous state. They are offended when you say that you need to leave: “How dare you tell us something about this?”. For me personally, presence there is impossible - I cannot be and function under the fascist regime.

- And children.

Yes, and more kids. What am I supposed to do, pretend like nothing's happening? I can't do that. You will have to go and protest, but there is a huge chance that you will just sit down. I do not want it. It is very cool that in our film there is Alisa Gorshenina, who continues to express her position through art and performances in such an elegant and incredibly courageous way. You said that there is some kind of hope - here she is the person who gives this hope. This is a Ural flower, which is easy to slam, it costs them nothing. These people are angels with incredible strength, inner and civil position - they are still there and do not give up.

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