Nepal Forever: Winnie the Pooh and Piglet under the red flag

Nepal Forever movie was directed by Alyona Polunina. Source: Press Photo

Nepal Forever movie was directed by Alyona Polunina. Source: Press Photo

The Russian film about communist peace keepers in Nepal will compete in the CinemaXXI section of the Rome Film Festival, which focuses on trends in filmmaking.

Nepal Forever, a documentary comedy about radical Russian communists in Nepal, was admitted to the 8th International Rome Film Festival, which will be held in the Italian capital on November 8-17.

The director Alyona Polunina is in the running for the CinemaXXI category, which is given to films that reflect new trends in world cinema.

The new generation of Russian communists in the movie are presented as clowns in colourful costumes, with a sincere belief in the communist Atlantis that sank long ago.

The film is actually not fictional. Polunina filmed actual members of the Communists of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region (CSPLR) that have become well known for their outrageous actions. They painted Stalin's image on an icon and protested against the Stoned Fox exhibition in St. Petersburg, turning the once unshakable communist ideals into a theatrical farce.

Source: Press Photo

CSPLR leaders have repeatedly stressed that the modern Communist Party "should be able to smile." "Clearly an old-school, hard-line, faded Communist Party still exists, but they at least have preserved a certain dignity. The characters of the film at one time joined the Communist Russia party, which miraculously had a fantastic amount of members," said the writer of the film.

Nepal Forever tells of the adventures of two party members - party leader Sergei Malinkovich and his assistant, Viktor Perov - a sort of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza of the 21st century, who go on a "business trip" to Nepal in order to reconcile two rival communist parties. Russian film critic Vadim Rutkowski named the duo "Piglet and Winnie the Pooh under the red flag."

Originally Malinkovich planned to send his assistant to the Himalayan mountains to share the invaluable experience of the Soviet Communists" with leading communist parties of Nepal. But the publicity stunt turned into an actual adventure when Polunina bought tickets for herself and the two communists.

Source: Press Photo

"I had only one agreement with the characters in the film: do what you want, but we will always be filming you. We boarded the plane and a cascade of gags began, sometimes veering on bad kitsch. And in Kathmandu we were met by Komsomol members, which Malinkovich had met before at the Festival of Youth and Students in South Africa. From that point on, we were filming. "A film crew filmed every step we took for Russian television. So we just get in the way."

The film can be divided into two parts - preparation to travel and the adventure itself. And even though in the course of the trip, which was more like a tourist trip than a political trip, the main characters could not save their ideological brothers, the picture does not exhaust the subject of communism.

The "communist peacekeepers" in Budyonny caps and red capes, looking as if they are from an old Soviet movie, meet with the poor Nepalese communists, talk to them about the revolutionary struggle and Lenin and Marxism, and lay a bouquet of flowers at the portrait of Kim Jong Il. However, their dialogues seem like a relic from the past century, which is in conflict with their sometimes outrageous behaviour.

The party reacted negatively to the film, saying that it portrays their activities improperly, adding, however, that it recognizes the artist has a right to her opinion.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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