Disability in Russian Cinema
What is “disability”? What is “health”? What is “normal”? What is a “body”? The course will first examine how these questions have historically been answered in US culture, as reflected in film. We will discuss and critique Disability Theory and the cinematic representation of the disabled. Equipped with these “Western” concepts and insights, we will turn our attention to Russia’s film productions involving disability (i.e., works about the disabled or made by disabled artists. Among our topics: the grotesque, the “holy fool,” the “cult of suffering,” nationalism, communism and World War II. We conclude with a consideration of the disabled in late/post-Soviet Russia – a (still-ongoing historical moment in which cinematic discourses on disability have exploded – and ponder the future of disability rights in Russia.