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Russian filmmaker: ‘We are witnessing a dictatorship of political correctness in Europe’

July 19, 2017, 17:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Andrey Konchalovsky is confident that the state has the right, if it shells out money, to influence the creative process

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Andrey Konchalovsky

Andrey Konchalovsky

© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 19. /TASS/. Having total discretion in filmmaking does not guarantee the creation of a masterpiece, and the state does not have to shell out money for it, Russian filmmaker Andrey Konchalovsky said in an interview with TASS.

"I think that independence does not guarantee a masterpiece creation," Konchalovsky stated. "That’s a very big illusion of today’s liberal vision. There is a lot of freedom and hardly any masterpieces." The filmmaker believes that "today’s European tendency to exalt freedom and tolerance over obligation and restriction will plunge Europe into hell and a new dark age."

The film director is confident that "an artist cannot be free," as they have self-censorship. "If someone wants to be independent from the state then they can find money, why not," Konchalovsky went on. "Still, it would be wrong to say that the state has to be grateful to the artist for what they make using its money."

Dictatorship of political correctness

"We are witnessing a new form of dictatorship in Europe - a dictatorship of political correctness," Konchalovsky explained. He is confident that the state has the right, if it shells out money, to influence the creative process.

"Why should the state dish out money for the artist’s freedom," the filmmaker mused. "They must gain it themselves and fight for it. The state does not have to dole out huge sums of money for unfettered artwork."

Konchalovsky believes that artists are responsible for the money they are bankrolled with. "I know one thing about Hollywood," he explained. In Hollywood, you can’t move your arm or leg if it wasn’t previously agreed upon, and you’ll film who, what and the way you are told to. European filmmakers have more independence."

Konchalovsky believes that, generally speaking, "there must be understanding between a client and a performer."

According to the movie director, "all great masterpieces were ordered to be done - Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael painted only to order.

Konchalovsky on the rescheduled Nureyev ballet

Commenting on the situation surrounding Kirill Serebrennikov’s ballet "Nureyev," the premier of which had been rescheduled from July 12, 2017, to May 2018 at the Bolshoi Theater, Konchalovsky emphasized that he did not know any details. "I don’t know why it happened," he said. "A theater director has the right to reschedule and even close a performance."

The film director noted that "Tannhauser," staged in Dusseldorf, Germany, "featured gas chambers with convulsing people inside." The performance lasted for two days and then was closed. "It was banned and that’s it," the film director resumed. "This is an example of a state interference in a free country."

"Relations between the artist and the state are complicated," Konchalovsky admitted. "But this is the way they should be. Of course, it would be great to be given money and be left alone. But then, you can go, earn it and spend it as you wish."

That said, the filmmaker, who staged operas both in Russia and internationally, said no plans were in store to stage a performance at the Bolshoi.

"When I am invited, I stage [a performance]," he explained. "If I don’t get any invitations, I don’t stage [any performances], it's that simple. I proposed my ‘Boris Godunov’ performance that I staged in Turin, Italy, to the Bolshoi Theater. I suggested moving it there, but did not feel any enthusiasm [in response]. I guess I’m not a trendsetting stage director."

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