There are not so many films in Soviet cinema that have entered the culture so tightly that some situations and sayings from them have become recognizable and understandable even for those who have never seen the film. Most of these films are from the Soviet period. A tragicomedy with a fantastic plot by George Danelia, called “Kin-dza-dza!”, is such an example of late Soviet cinema.
The film was shot in 1986, which gives it some features. This is both a greater freedom of action for the director and screenwriter, and a refusal to strictly follow the propaganda of Soviet ideals in cinema, and, most interestingly, the opportunity to finally film a Soviet dystopia. Dystopia is a rather specific genre, which is built according to certain canons, and the canon of dystopia is based on the opposition of the state and the individual. “Kin-Dza-Dza!” – this is a genre and plot breakthrough of the domestic cinema of its time. And what is the meaning of the film “Kin-dza-dza!” Let’s start looking at the plot.
What is the movie “Kin-dza-dza!” about?
The time that is described in the film is approximately the time in which the script was written and the film was shot, that is, the middle of the 80s of the 20th century. The place of action at the beginning of the film is Moscow. An ordinary Soviet hard worker, foreman Uncle Vova, returns home after a hard day’s work. His wife immediately sends him to the grocery store. On the street, Uncle Vova meets a violinist student.
Together they run into a very curious stranger who is barefoot and obviously doesn’t understand where he is or what’s going on. Uncle Vova and Gedevan (a student with a violin) are talking to a strange man. He tries to convince them that he is a tourist from another planet, and the strange box in his hands is nothing more than a device for moving between planets. Naturally, he is not taken seriously, Uncle Vova turns the box in his hands, presses some kind of lever and moves into an alien desert, along with the student Gedevan and his violin case.
The planet on which they ended up is called Plyuk, its structure is interesting. The population of Pluka is two races, Chatlians and Patsaks. Outwardly, they do not differ at all (even at the level of racial differences among earthlings), they look like ordinary Europeans. However, the Chatlans are a privileged group, and the Patsaks are discriminated against in every possible way, since the planet originally belonged to the Chatlans.
To distinguish one from the other, the boys are forced to wear a bell in their nose and greet the superior chatlans with a special squat with a shout of “ku!” (This is the same “ku!” After the release of the film, it became a kind of Soviet meme). And besides these attributes, patsaks are distinguished from chatlans by the color of the light on a special device designed to distinguish between indigenous people and patsaks. The unwitting tourists themselves on Pluka turned out to be patsaks, as the device of the first locals they met showed (Chatlanin and patsak on a pepelats, an aircraft, something remotely similar to a pepper shaker on legs and with a helicopter propeller).
Throughout the film, the heroes are trying to return home, and new acquaintances help them in this and the fact that Uncle Vova owns a box of matches, which the locals call “KC” and consider the greatest value possible. Having gone through all the dangers and obstacles, the heroes find themselves on Earth, and in the past, a few seconds before they picked up the apparatus for moving. and remember nothing. However, having met a person who looks like a chatlanin, the student and the foreman do not hesitate to squat and say “ku!”, after which everyone immediately remembers.
The meaning of the film “Kin-dza-dza!”
The meaning of the film “Kin-dza-dza!” lies in a satire on a society with a totalitarian regime, a society where some are in a much better position than others.
Classically, the film is usually interpreted as a parody of a “decaying capitalist society” that is heading towards inevitable destruction. Uncle Vova and Violinist (aka Student) are representatives of the Soviet people in the crazy world of capitalism (planet Plyuk).
Let’s take a closer look at the brightest and most interesting references that confirm this theory. First, a pronounced differentiation of society. In the film, this moment is comedic with the help of the color of the pants (the color of the pants reflects the status of the wearer). Secondly, a hint of discrimination against another race. This, of course, was the sin of Western, European society, that is, the countries of developed capitalism.
Patsaks are, in fact, the same black population of America, for example. Further, another interesting point: the society of the planet Plyuk, despite the fact that the whole planet is rust, sand and extreme poverty, is not backward at all. It, on the contrary, is technically more developed than the Earth. Pepelats are much faster than their modern terrestrial planes, and the devices for classifying residents that scan them are like something from our technical present at all! The fact is that Plyuk’s society is a post-industrial society that has experienced the maximum development of industry on a capitalist basis, pumped out all the forces and all the juices from its planet, consuming everything that was on it.
It would seem that everything is transparent. The satire of Soviet cinema on Western capitalist society is completely logical. But, when the film was first shot, everything was perceived very differently. When a student complains that they can’t get into MGIMO, they are essentially complaining about the same corruption that thrives at Pluka. When Uncle Vova has difficulty paying for an apartment, this clearly shows that he is almost on the lowest rung of the social ladder.
Even the situation with who wears what kind of hat in the USSR is like the same story about the color of pants. It turns out that Uncle Vova and Student visited the same late Soviet society, but all its vices were as if passed through a magnifying glass. But this is the essence of dystopia.
The meaning of the film’s ending is extremely simple: the characters returned from a warning trip and even managed to keep their memories of it. So, now they can do something, somehow try to rectify the situation.
Write in the comments your meaning of the film “Kin-dza-dza!”. We look forward to waiting!