An Actor, A Director, A Party Congress, And YouTube

The Power Vertical

Director Fyodor Bondarchuk appearing in a shot from his 2008-09 science fiction film The Inhabited Island

Some things require very little commentary.

Anybody who watched the United Russia congress last weekend, probably saw the impassioned speech by the actor Vladimir Mashkov, star of the 2001 film Behind Enemy Lines, at the nationally televised plenary session on September 24, where he explained why he joined the ruling party:


But fewer people saw a very different speech by Fyodor Bondarchuk, director of the film The 9th Company (a film about the Afghan war that is rumored to be one of Vladimir Putin’s favorites) at a session a day earlier on civil society:

At that point, Andrei Makarov, a television personality and United Russia official who was chairing the meeting, interrupted.

“Well, that was interesting. You know I am taking notes and will need to report this,” he said.

“I understand,” Bondarchuk answered. “Tomorrow I already won’t be here.”

WATCH THE VIDEO: reported however, that Bondarchuk did in fact attend the plenary session the next day — and the video of his rant went viral on YouTube.

I guess the moral of the story is that there is dissent even inside United Russia, and if you are the director of Putin’s favorite film, you can even get away with expressing it publicly.

Oh, and another moral of the story: in the age of YouTube, even controlling all of a country’s television stations does not guarantee control over information.

— Brian Whitmore

Tags: United Russia, Fyodor Bondarchuk, Vladimir Mashkov

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