PhD | Gender and Politics: A Case Study of Soviet Films of 1920s and 1930s – Aleena Karim
PhD Candidate: Aleena Karim
Institution: Leiden University
Supervisors: Maria Boletsi, Peter Verstraten, Otto Boele
Where Vladimir Lenin’s “cultural revolution” was inclined towards welcoming the western-produced films in the wake of New Economic Policy (NEP) as well as welcoming reception of those films by the Soviet people; Joseph Stalin’s “cultural revolution” was inclined towards socialist realism. It was under the banner of “cultural revolution” that Stalin planned to propagate the theme of socialist realism, that is, of building a utopian picture of a socialist society, a classless society, in the Soviet films. It was thence followed by certain changes made in the censorship board of the Soviet film industry and great emphasis was put on addressing the themes such as patriotism and war in the Soviet films (Cook and Saklar, 2021).
A cohort of researches have, although, been conducted on the theme of socialist realism in the Soviet films, it is the cinematographic gender aspect that has been missing so far which my research aims to attend. Thus, the fundamental question of my research is, How is gender represented in the Soviet films made during Stalin’s regime in 1920s and 1930s? Following a tool-kit based analytical approach, I case study the impact of Stalin’s cultural revolution on gender projection in the selected films made by the Soviet filmmakers in 1920s and 1930s.