Why in Ukraine there is not enough film to be made, does the government contribute to the development of the spheres of national culture, and what attracts Ukrainian directors to Russia. The author of famous paintings "Flight in a dream and a dream", "Paradise birds", director and scriptwriter Roman Balayan in an interview "Apostrofu.Layme "told about the cinema, plans to remove Svyatoslav Vakarchuk in the lead role of his new film and opened the curtain of the unfinished script. The People's Artist danced on sharp issues, discussing events in the east and the annexation of the Crimea. Shared a personal opinion about the relations between Ukraine and Russia, and also admitted that he was thinking of colleagues who supported the policy of the aggressor.
We met with Roman Gurgenovich Balayan at the Dovzhenko Film Studio. Quite a simple office, however, like most of the buildings in this historic place. In the corner there is a big picture of the People's Artist of the USSR Oleg Yankovsky, a shot from Balayan's movie "Flights in a dream and a dream," and around only a few shelves and tables with different folders and papers. Just one of them and our conversation took place.
Thanks for taking the time to chat. As you know from the latest news, now you also have a lot of worries. What are you working today?
Well, as always, over you (laughs) . I am not very interested in filming today, I'm bored in cinema.
Well, like ... there is no rental, and shooting for six or seven views in cinemas is not interesting for me. And to be filmed for festivals is the desire and desire of the young. Yes, and I hardly have this one today ... I would like what I take off, turn to a wider circle. If it is not, then somehow it does not stir. Nevertheless, I am writing a script now. True, all the time he is on the 32nd page, the rest I tell orally.
It's a shame to write down until I find out if there is an opportunity to get money and take a movie. If this happens, then I will see Svyatoslav Vakarchuk in the lead role. At least I am writing it. Not in the sense that he will sing there or something like that. My face is very interesting to me. Organic it. The timbre is brilliant. He, like Yankovsky, has a protest face. In general, I would like him to be filmed.
How did Vakarchuk himself relate to the idea of playing in your painting? The fact is that usually Svyatoslav does not tear into the cinema industry. Says he is not an actor.
And he will not need to be an actor in my movie. The fact is that a person with such a person is not obliged to play someone. Will be enough of his face, organics, you understand? Simply Vakarchuk is in different circumstances, but with his reaction and organic matter. It seems to me that he would play wonderful. Or rather, would have lived.
Before, there was information in the network that Vakarchuk will play the surgeon.
The fact is that the surgeon is the first two pages. Further, we do not get back to it at all. This same surgeon made an operation to his 7-year-old godson, the son of his close friends. And the boy died directly on the operating table, it is not clear why, there was a simple operation. It is a shock to him. What and why it happened - we will find out in the end. He does not deal with so-called surgery.
There will still be a very strange girl ... Well, and what was actually with the operation, and who this strange girl will find out at the end of the film. I would still love Vakarchuk to be shot. I understand that he may not need this. The cinema is being filmed to become famous, and he and so everyone knows, more than any artist. I did not know that the press already said so much about it. It is clear that not because of what, you see, Balajan will be filming, but because Vakarchuk...
Yes, this news immediately caused great interest to the audience. Vakarchuk is a person who is always in the spotlight.
Yes, he is one of the most deserving and interesting for me in today's Ukraine.
Roman Gurgenovich, in the field of culture, you are not the first ten years. What can you say about modern culture in Ukraine?
Well, let alone some exceptions, everything is very bad. There are exceptions, of course. But this is contrary, and not because there is now a lot of attention to it, to the culture with a capital letter. I do not see that. After all, since the year 91 there is no understanding that this is the only form of rapid integration of its mentality into the world. Cinema, unlike theater, poetry, prose, until all this will be translated, has such a quick opportunity. This year, of course, gave a little more money, but this ...
If you talk specifically about cinema?
Well I do not know. If we talk about the latest successful works, then this is the "Tribe" (the debut film of Ukrainian director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, ed.) . It is possible to treat this film differently, but I do not understand why this guy was not given any title, for example. 43 countries, 43 festivals, main prizes. Why does anyone think that this is an anti-Ukrainian film, is it interesting? What is anti-Ukrainian?
Brothers movie ("Brothers: The Last Confession" by Victoria Trofimenko, ed.) . I really liked the images of these two men at an age. As for me, so much is the viewer's film. Last year, by the way, I was the chairman of the jury of Ukrainian short films for "Molodist", and there were three distinguished ones, and, surprisingly, all three were women: Gornostay, Stepanskaya and Morgunets. They work quite well with the artists there. But these are short films, and what they do next, I have no idea.
Very often the question arises, do not we really know how to shoot a movie?
And this is what I already said. Our government, maybe I'm wrong, does not quite understand that cinema and television ... Although not, they have television - it's a transfer of the type of "Freedom of speech" on different channels, which is not always, but often they shake and insult each other.
And the movie ... The fact is that in Ukraine there is no film industry as such. In Ukraine, at least 15 films must be filmed annually, and if there is a couple of decent ones, this is already very good. And so ... I remember one of the presidents saying "We have to take a masterpiece" (makes a serious face). What are the masterpieces? Masterpieces are not removed by order.
Are you watching today for the latest cinema news? Last week, for example, all the records were beat the noisy" Detachment of suicides".
No, I did not see these movies. I do not watch movies at all. Not because I see you are bored, no. It's terribly interesting, but I prefer to watch the dark-skinned boxing and dark-skinned basketball. Why dark-skinned (улыбается)?
When the black people are in the ring, they fight and white boxers. Also, basketball. The white ones jump into the basket, and the dark-skinned fly to her. There are even moments like the moment of standing in the air. That's shocking me. I'm looking at what I do not know. This is something I do not know how to live. It's like a circus as a moment of wonder, so it's interesting to me.
As far as cinema is concerned, I still have inferiority complex from Kusturica's "Underground" movie. It's awesome, this is a masterpiece.
How difficult is it to implement the conceived in your script?
It happens differently, I do not know. Let's say, I do not really love my last movie "Paradise Birds". I do not like for the reason that I could not remove the entourage, that which is around the heroes. According to the plot 81-th year, and on the street are jeeps and the like. It was necessary to take off, as the hero goes, closer to any wall, so that in the frame did not fall foreign cars and big boards (laughs) . Another thing is a modern movie like the one that I'm going to shoot.
Do you plan to shoot in Kiev? Quite often, our studios are filming films, videos, but for some reason the action of paintings takes place in Russia.
Well, that's because the money there is Russian, probably. Or they want a Moscow rental, there it is some, and we do not have it at all. Yes, I want to shoot in Kiev. Finally, show your favorite city in all its glory.
True, he became terrified with all these new buildings, which oh do not fit into our city.
An important moment in culture is the language question. And today it costs quite acutely: it is literature, music, translations. What do you think about this?
Honestly, the state is a single language, a defensive army and clear borders. These are three things Ukraine does not have. That is, as a state I do not see it in the sense that I said.
Language, in order to become united, it is necessary to come up with the prestige of this language, attractiveness. Why? Why is he? What to get carried away with? Besides that, just need. But today it does not matter whether it is Russian or Ukrainian, only if you were not an enemy of Ukraine and did not sing the people who hung over it.
I met your phrase that you know Ukrainian, read freely, speak, but feel shy. Why so?
I'm not talking about it almost. The fact is that for the oral speech I do not have four letters available to the end: "і", "о", "e" and "ь". As one of the deputies said "kaalija" (smiles) , I can suddenly say "kaaliya" or some other misleading word. Not "нэбо", but "небо" suddenly.
I can speak, but there may be pauses like Yanukovych. Do i need it Enough of what I understand Ukrainian, I read and love it. A wonderful tongue, with the same musicality as the Italian.
But people need to be attracted to him. What does "single language" mean? This is when a person is thinking this language. In the empire, for example, it did not matter who was by nationality Bulat Okudzhava, Fazil Iskander, Bella Akhmadulin, they wrote in imperial language. So, to make Ukrainization, other methods are needed. Not extreme measures, but sparing, concessional and prestigious.
In one of the last interviews, musician Oleg Violin expressed the idea that Ukrainians are dying out of the capital in the capital today , they are superseded by the Russian language. Do you agree with his opinion?
Well, it was before the aggression was. Big cities are 80% Russian-speaking. It is necessary not to infringe on Russian, but to defend Ukrainian, to promote it. Let's say publish the law that in 7 years, all the first classes will be only in Ukrainian and beyond. That is to those who oppose, we give time and they will understand that the child in five will need to be sent to the kindergarten, where everything is in Ukrainian and so on, and so on ... Although I understand that this is not the most perfect method and I can be wrong ...
Of course, the Russian language is the traces of the Russian Empire, the traces of Russification. And this is a very long way to get away from it. As for today's realities, I do not really like ... and this, if expressed softly ... the Russian leadership and personally Mr. Putin, but my dislike does not extend to Russian people and to Russian people ... So it turned out today that some of our fellow citizens say "for me the Russian is dead". I can not say so. I have never talked about the Azerbaijanis bad, although we also have a conflict and how much it continues. So to speak is already nationalism, which in a multinational country threatens to become chauvinism.
Of course, there are those in Russia who are so terribly thinking about Ukrainians ... Listen, Yuri, enough about that, or I spoke as a statesman ... Let's still talk about art. You see, the order that the artist needs is never in the state. Because the artist and the state are two different hypostases. At the same time, if the world was perfect, the artist would have nothing to do. Any authority can not be recognized by the artist to the end. Anyone!
Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol ... If you read carefully what they thought about the empire ... By the way, I suddenly remembered something ... Remember, was a telecast "Great Ukrainians"? Do you remember So, there, I do not remember who, said that Gogol "choked Russian language". Have you gone crazy? Yes, he gave his Russians all Russian literature on the shoulder blades. Pushkin himself raged and admired him. Of course, he is Ukrainian, but wrote in Russian, well and what?
About me, too, today are the "Soviet-Ukrainian director of Armenian origin" ... What, it is necessary to emphasize all this? I am a citizen of Ukraine, and what is here to one another? You know, if suddenly an Uzbek born and living in Ukraine will become the president of Ukraine, then I will believe that we are finally in a free state ... But, alas, I will not be there by that time (Laughs).
In general, the greatest right is the right to life. And today, our people perish. To volunteers who have gone to the front, I treat admiration and envy - the man went to sacrifice himself. I could not, with all love, go to Ukraine. But then, when will they return, what will they do? A man after the war is aggressive, how to appease him? It is necessary to think out what they will do in a peaceful life, to create jobs, initiatives to open something. So far, they are not very involved with this. They write that some apartments are allocated there, but how many? There are a lot more to them than them.
Speaking about these events, what do you think about what's happening in the east of Ukraine?
I would still call it a war. Or occupation. Because everything is happening in our territory.
Those who call the Minsk accords stupid are not right. It can cause Europe's indifference to us. Europe is not because of us because it loves Ukraine, but because it is against Russia.
I do not understand this person from Russia who deals with all this. We will not use the last name, it has already become a commonplace with us and not only. He zombied himself there and now we are zombating our actions. I'm offended by the Russians. Because of him, this is now a world-wide relation to them. But there are no bad people, there is a certain number of their bad representatives.
Did not all these events become some inspiration?
No, this is a journalism, I do not own it. It contributes to many documentaries. But, you know, the artist must take that off so as not to rude that side, he must go deeper. These are two people, bound by one chain. And how to solve this problem, how to split this chain?
There was such a film "Clad in one chain," a black man and a white racist fled from prison, bound by one chain. There is such an aversion to each other. But volition-captive in the distant road they became close friends. Now would take such a movie.
What do you think about the near future of Ukraine? How can these events end? Someone says, everything goes to a new revolution, the authorities are blamed for betrayal of Maidan ...
I think badly, but I'm afraid to knit. I am very dissatisfied, we restrict ourselves to this. I actively do not accept that side, but also to the end I do not understand ours.
Skill Chornovil (Vyacheslav Chornovil, leader of the People's Movement of Ukraine, ed.) spoke about the federal structure of Ukraine in the nineties. If they had solved this question then everything would be fine. And now, when one part of the population has already been set up against another, it can divide Ukraine.
In the 93rd year, Gonchar found the idea that Donbass is a cancerous tumor of Ukraine. That we could not instil Ukrainianship, and did not do anything worthwhile for this. So he stayed different. And six years ago, Andrukhovich said that Donbass should be given to Russia. So many people rose up against him ...
It's disgusting, but there is something in the anticipation of these two personalities. And the slogans of the "United Russia", "United Ukraine" ... Lord, these are two multinational states. Whether this is the lack of state thinking for all these years, or, as it says, "where two Cossacks, there are three hetmans", we can not get rid of it in any way. Then too Vinnichenko, Petliura and Grushevsky thought differently, dragged in different directions, and nothing with the sovereign Ukraine failed. Now something similar is happening, there is no single direction in thoughts, do you understand? Love is when looking in one direction.
Do you think we can return the Crimea? This question was asked somewhat earlier, but today they are increasingly talking about whether to return it.
We will not return it to the world. Putin will trade Crimea instead of the Donbass, and the world will restrain it. At the very beginning, it was necessary to think something when it all began. But for some reason they did not dare. I do not know, but intuition tells me that no matter how many politicians did not speak, it's probably not likely. Donbass, maybe, will return, he has bombed him all, he does not need him. All this he needs for Ukraine to shout all the time.
I've been to Crimea many times. Of course, about half of the population would probably vote for joining Russia. But the point is, by what way was it done? Green people? Putin denied this until the world got into the video with these people. If it were a peaceful referendum, it might be different in a different way.
And we, did anyone do anything to make Crimea ours? Also, nothing. These are issues in which I am ignorant, I argue as a humanist, I can be mistaken. But it seems to me that Crimea will not return.
Today, situations are often compared with the Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh. What do you think about Poroshenko's statement that Ukraine does not recognize Karabakh Armenian?
You know, I am an Armenian, and I think that if Karabakh were attached to Armenia, we would be more and more friends with Azerbaijan. Well, Azerbaijanis may think differently, this is their right. Why did Armenia recognize Crimea Russian? Because in due time Ukraine did not recognize Karabakh Armenian, it's all political games (smiles).
In your sphere there are many colleagues from Russia, actors, directors. Many public figures today openly supported Putin's policy. How do your relations develop then?
Many people ask me about Mikhalkov (wipes off her hand) , I do not understand, I do not accept any of his political thoughts. But he is my friend. True, if I hear that he somewhere shouted "beat the Ukrainians", I immediately strike out of my life.
Already a year and a half do not talk to him, I do not call. Something prevents me. All of his transmissions ... Why did he go there, I do not know. The most terrible thing that he does sincerely, I know him well. This is a sincere misconception. Back in the 78th year, he talked to me about an "enlightened monarchy." Putin already feels like a monarch, I think he convinced him. Very sorry Under Soviet rule, there was no director who had all the first five films to be so cool. It was only he, Mikhalkov. But alas ...
Interviewed by Yuri Somov, "Apostrophe.Laim"