The film that I have chosen for this extra credit paper is called The Desert of Forbidden Art. The makers of this 2010 film are A. Pope and T. Georgiev. The voice actors to illustrate some of the artists’ diaries and letters that were mentioned in the movie are Ben Kingsley, Sally Field, and Ed Asner. The main setting that the documentary talked about was in Uzbekistan, which was in the Soviet Union, or USSR, during the Cold War. This documentary story fascinated me, because I had little knowledge about many things that were involved with the Cold War since I neither grew up in that era nor did I learn much about it in school. I also had no idea that art had a bigger impact in the war than I thought, mostly because I did not know that the Soviet Union had made certain art styles forbidden in the area; I now realize that art was just as important to the public awareness of the Soviet Union as the government itself was.
The film is mostly about “forbidden” artworks done by people who were living in the Soviet Union at the time it existed. These artworks were forbidden, because the Soviet Union government wanted to promote itself in a positive light to the people and to the rest of the world; so, they wanted artists to make masterpieces depict Socialist Realism. The artists, who did not rebel against this idea, would portray the citizens of the USSR as happy, joyful, energetic, realistic, and loyal towards the government. However, the artists, who created their own artwork without caring about the regulations, decided to use gloom, depressing, and shocking art pieces to represent what reality was and what life was truly like in the Soviet Union; this was seen as anti-Soviet. Some artists would paint figures that represented freedom, especially after the revolution when Lenin came along. Other artists would paint visual evidence of human being repression, concentration camps, and capitalism.
The film also talked about a specific person named Igor Savitsky. Savitsky felt interested in artworks of all kinds, both the forbidden and Socialist Realism art pieces. Savitsky would collect all kinds of art pieces in hope of creating a museum. However, he was at risk of getting arrested by the government; so, he decided to build his museum in a desert, the last place someone would put and look for a museum. He received artworks from artists such as Alexander Volkov, Mikhail Kurzin, Yevgeny Lysenko, Nadezhda Borovaya, Alexei Rybnikov, Elena Korovay, and even Ural Tanskybaev, who was a master of Socialist Realism. He died in 1984 from breathing in toxic vapor, but his museum still stands today, with over 44,000 paintings and graphics that he collected.
The artists in the film were portrayed as confident,...