2007 The whole country discussed the sensational film by A. Balabanov “Cargo 200”. Cash receipts as of August 6, 2007 amounted to 14,824,594 rubles. Such a figure was formed for a reason – people, knowing about the abundance of unpleasant frames of the picture, went to find out what the director wanted to say.
To find the meaning of the film, you first need to brush up on its plot. So, USSR, 1984, province. After the disco, the daughter of the secretary of the district committee of the CPSU, Angelica, disappears. The case of her disappearance is being handled by policeman Zhurov. It seemed like an ordinary story about a missing person. But unlike the girl’s parents, the audience sees from the very beginning what really happened. Angelica and her friend Valera meet at a disco. Dancing is accompanied by drinking, which at one point ends. And the guys go to the farm to buy a supplement to a certain Alexei, who sells moonshine. Valera leaves the girl alone in the car and promises to return soon.
At this time, Angelica feels a heavy look on her, which quickly escapes her sight. The girl becomes scared, and she decides to hurry her companion. Entering the house, she discovers that the guy is already very drunk, and Alexei wants to get the girl. Alexei’s wife hides Angelica in the bathhouse. The same look is watching the whole situation, and his owner, Zhurov, forcefully sneaks into the bathhouse and rapes the girl, simultaneously killing the hired Vietnamese Sunka. After that, the maniac leaves with his victim to his home, informing the department that a corpse was found on the farm. A rapist in uniform chains Angelica to the head of the bed and leaves her under the care of her mother, who has become out of her mind.
Meanwhile, a plane from Afghanistan arrives in the city with a “cargo of 200” six zinc coffins with the bodies of military personnel, among whom is Sergeant Kolya Gorbunov, Angelica’s fiancé. By the will of fate, Zhurov is summoned to bury Gorbunov. However, the coffin with the body of the sergeant is sent to the policeman’s apartment. There, the coffin is opened, and the corpse is thrown onto the sleeping Angelica. Zhurov mocks the poor girl, declaring that “the groom has arrived.” Angelica is horrified to understand what happened to her beloved. The girl begins a real hysteria.
At the same time, Alexei is accused of the murder of Sunka. His wife wants to restore justice and goes to Zhurov’s apartment. But she does this far from peacefully: Antonina breaks into the apartment with a gun and kills a policeman. Angelica recognizes the woman and pleads for help, but her request was not granted. At the end of the film, the hostage is left in a stinking apartment with corpses and a crazy old woman.
At first glance, the film may seem like an ordinary “darkness”, but Balabanov, in my opinion, is not typical. In general, the director has repeatedly admitted in interviews that the film is based on real events. “These are all the stories, either those that were told to me, or those that I witnessed,” says the master. In this regard, it is difficult to assume whether there are metaphors or some symbols in the film. First of all, it should be mentioned that Alexei Oktyabrinovich convinced us in some interviews that everything shown to the viewer is pure truth. Even at the beginning of the film, he puts the caption “Based on a true story.” “I pass on my experience,” he says. So it is not even necessary to look for the hidden meaning of this film. This is a detailed drawing.
However, for lovers of hidden symbols, I will offer my interpretation of the meaning. Angelica is a symbol of the Motherland, which is constantly tormented. They are tormented by people like Zhurov. A policeman should be the defender of the country and its people, but, feeling power and impunity, he himself creates lawlessness. The dead paratrooper is also a hostage of circumstances. He personifies an army whose soldiers no one needs, because the dead cannot even be humanly buried. Based on these symbolic images, we can say that Balabanov wanted to show us without embellishment the harsh reality of that time, which is now often romanticized. But not everything was so good.
1984 is sometimes called the beginning of the end, the last year before perestroika began. In the film, even Serebryakov’s character says: “Everything will change soon.” And these changes, most likely, were not at all to the liking of the director, whose childhood and youth were spent in the Soviet Union. The USSR in his film is the same “cargo 200” – with the same unknown and deplorable fate. However, Balabanov already guesses about the fate of the new country. His guesses are visible in the final scene of the film: Valera, a blackmailer, and his friend intend to build a commercial company. The time is coming for a new generation that has a fiery passion for profit.
Balabanov was convinced: “If you were born Soviet, then Soviet forever.” Therefore, we can almost confidently say that the film “Cargo 200” is a kind of commemoration of the Soviet past.