Inessa Gelfenboym
Articles by Inessa Gelfenboym

Iosif Vissarionovich Changes Profession

Under Stalin, a successful rehabilitation of Ivan the Terrible was required to be Romantic, implying an optimistic interpretation of history and of Stalin’s political achievements. Where the Party mandated Romance, Eisenstein gave them Tragedy. On the other hand, Bulgakov’s “Ivan Vasilievich” earned the ire of Soviet critics by presenting a world that remained untouched by progress, thereby portraying history as Satire. For his “Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession,” Leonid Gaidai adapted Bulgakov’s play, an already risky procedure, and built into this adaptation references to Eisenstein’s film.

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