About the book
This study investigates the close correlation between politics and mainstream cinema vividly evidenced in Russian and American screen images of the former Cold War enemy from 1990 to 2005. Whereas glasnost and the demise of the Soviet Union ushered in a period of official cooperation that soon inflated into rhetorical declarations of partnership, the fifteen years under examination saw the gradual deterioration of relations after the initial euphoria, culminating in a partial resumption of mutual Cold War recriminations.
The American blockbusters under analysis outnumber the major Russian selections because of the notorious discrepancy in production volume between Hollywood and Russian studios (especially during the 1990s)—an incommensurability bemoaned by representatives of the Russian film industry. Moreover, while we recognize that widely advertised money-making blockbusters may provide a more reliable index of both official priorities and vox populi, we have included a number of smaller-scale or financially less successful films that encapsulate the political agenda of a given period. Considerations of length influenced our process of selection, which favored eloquent illustration over automatic exhaustiveness.
“The authors take an innovative transnational approach, analyzing the ways that Russian and American films cast the former Cold War enemy in the fifteen years after the conflict’s end. Helena and Margaret Goscilo’s study is dense, well-written, full of insights, and makes an important contribution to Russian/American film studies as well as scholarly works on the cultural Cold War.”
—Stephen Norris, Associate Professor of History, Miami University, and author of Blockbuster History in the New Russia: Movies, Memory, and Patriotism
“This is a splendid book. It's what every scholarly book should be, but almost never is: superbly researched, vividly written, intrinsically interesting. The Goscilos tell a fascinating story: how Russian and American cinema continued to shape perceptions of the "other" after Cold War tensions had supposedly faded. It should be read by everyone interested in post-Cold War history, Russian and American culture, and the politics of cinema.”
―Denise Youngblood, Professor of History, University of Vermont and author of Russian War Films: On the Cinema front, 1914-2005.