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They Haven't Watched The Film, But They Condemn It Anyway

It is now no secret (to those interested) that the US Congress funded RFE/RL provides a venue for Tatar nationalists. A brief investigation of their Tatar website, not to mention their facebook page, confirms this. Yes dear readers, US Congress funds Russophobia, and separatism. While writing my last post concerning RFE/RL critique of new Russian film, I decided to investigate one of the authors, Rimma Bikmukhametova. And here is what I found. I thought translating the last link would make a great follow-up to my reaction...


Tatar nationalists criticised a film of Andrey Proshkin, "The Horde" ("Saint Alexiy"), that was not yet released. (note: the article is dated 17 September)

The ire of the Tatar nationalist gathering has once again experienced a not so funny Russophobic arousal. The impulse for this was a recently completed, but not yet shown, film of Andrey Proshkin with the operating titles "The Horde" or "Saint Alexiy". (note: the director in the end opted for "The Horde")

On 9 August, on the website of "Radio Liberty", a transcript of a programme in the Tatar language, named "Film: The Horde, and once again on the path of historical fraud", (note: some of this material has made it into the article I discussed in my last post) was posted, and was since translated into Russian and published on several internet venues. (including Den' Kazani from which this article quotes)

Setting the tone of the discussion, Rimma Bikmukhametova said: "Russians are filming a new movie. Not the first, and most likely not the last. Yet another picture about the Tatars and about the history of the Golden Horde. How our nation will be depicted in the film raises a lot of questions."

Meanwhile, the experienced journalist is not bothered by the fact, that neither she, nor her colleagues from the guild of Russophobes, have watched the film. For "a lot questions" to appear, all they require is that the film was made by the "Russians", and that it is about the "Golden Horde", which the latter cannot, and have no possible right to judge.

It is not that the "Tatars" (or rather a handful of nationalists from "Radio Liberty" attempting to speak in the name of all Tatars, and brainwash them with anti-Russian scaremongering), of whom it is unknown who gave them the "historical right" to judge not only theirs but also Russian history, traditionally throw dirt on practically all major (Russian) historical figures. 

What in fact Rimma Bikmukhametova has so blatantly demonstrated, having in vain mentioned (in relation to а selective account of Russian films made recently) the hateful Yermak, (note: old series, worth watching) who "annihilated thousands of Tatars", and the "invented by the Russian government", Day of National Unity. (note: the last one is a national holiday)

To "increase the effect", the correspondent of Tatar "Radio Liberty", without a moment of hesitation, provided the announcement of the future film with a rather specific subtitle "about savage Tatars" (an expression that is not to be found anywhere anymore), and "geographical terms" she pronounces in a way more "customary" for the Tatar nationalist audience: "Eurasian space"- "Golden Horde" (a Tatar state) - "Russian lands".

"The subject of the film are events unfolding in the fourteenth century. Janibek rules in the Eurasian space, and in the Russian lands as well. The capital of the Golden Horde is Saray Batu. Metropolitan Alexiy journeys from Moscow to Saray. His journey is full of surprises. The priest is threatened with death. He needs to make a choice, either save Moscow Principality from Tatar yoke, or save himself. He miraculously heals the mother of Janibek, Taydula, and thus saves Moscow from a raid of savage Tatars.

The main idea of the film is to show how difficult it was for the Russians to maintain national consciousness, language and traditions under pressure from another nation, another religion. The Russians who are forced to live under Tatar yoke are saved by the Orthodox faith, and the priests." -Rimma Bikmukhametova explains.

A person unacquainted with the "postulates" of local (note: that is Tatar) historical "science" would hardly see some sort of trick in what is quoted above (perhaps with the exception of "savage Tatars"). He would not see it even in the statement that "the picture is financed from state budget" and was ordered by the studio "Orthodox Encyclopedia".

Another case are people who have accepted the the historical "truths" proclaimed in Tatarstan, about there never being a Tatar yoke, about Orthodox clergy being almost a privileged class in the Golden Horde, and about Russian lands becoming a part of the Golden Horde being a great blessing.

A real Russophobic pandemonium started around a film about the life of Metropolitan of Kiev, and Moscow, and all Rus' Alexiy, which was dreamed up by the deceased Most Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Rus' Alexiy II, only because the film does not conform to these "truths".

While accusing Andrey Proshkin of fraud, the correspondent smoothly moved over to asking the opinion of "experts". The "experts" taking part in the programme were Ayrat Tukhvatullin (who in his time has defended a dissertation on kazyejadist (note: don't know what that is) Hasan-Gata Gabashi, who lived in late nineteenth and early twentieth century), film director Ramis Nazmiev (a co-producer of a scandalously Russophobic and anti-Kryashenian film "Zuleykha"), and writer Wahit Imamov, who specialises in "searching for concealed history of the Tatars".

Meanwhile, the "expert opinion" on the film which none of them have watched, turned out to be rather aggressive and quite stupid. Ayrat Tukhvatullin said that "Janibek was no savage but a true democrat". He underscored that "Russians should be thankful to Janibek, as the latter gave them a great deal of freedom". Describing vividly the prosperity, which the Golden Horde was plunged into under his rule, all the good deeds that the Khan has bestowed upon Russian princes and Orthodox clergy, the specialist on the history of twentieth century forgot to mention that already during the reign of Janibek (who was killed by his own son) there started to appear signs of internal strife, which has ended in the well known "Great Troubles". (note: between 1359-1380, 25 Khans have held power)

But the issue is not this exactly. Tatar "national-historians" (note: why does this term remind me of something?) can declare that Janibek was a democrat, or maybe a republican (it is good that in serious academic circles nobody pays any attention to these wise statements anymore). Something else is unexplainable, what was all that defending with a foam at their mouth, of dignity of a beloved Khan and that of a wonder-state with a Russian name, "Golden Horde", for? Andrey Proshkin himself explained that there is no "liberation of Rus'" in his film.

And that's not all, Proshkin told angry "Radio Liberty" folk: "Believe me, I did not want to make a movie about a conflict with people of another religion, with another nation. I wanted to tell about a place of man in a society, and his relationship with the Most High. We did not aim to show the life of a subjugated Russian people, which were forced to exist under the yoke of savage Tatars."

But even that seemed little for the fighters against Russian "falsifiers of history", because as Rimma Bikmukhametova remarked, "even in this film the Tatars will hardly be shown as a nation which has build an empire with an ideal structural arrangement". So a motivation for protest is saved regardless (at least until the Tatars will not be admitted as a super-nation which has created an ideal state)

It is rather amusing (especially in the light of recent "kondopogas" -note: the last one was a scene of ethnic riots between locals and Caucasians) to read the "revelations" of Ramis Nazmiev that "in our country only the interests of the Russian nation are taken into account", that "there is only one titular nation, and other nations are supposed to adapt to the condition it dictates". Ramis Nazmiev dreams of filming a movie about the birth of the Turk Kaganate or the Kazan' Khanate, rather correctly pointing out that "the Tatars, filming their own movie, will surely not do something offensive to themselves. So do the Russians drag the blanket towards themselves. I can't wait for this film. I want to see how the Russians once again twisted history".

And for the famous, among a small circle of people, writer Wahit Imamov, who is convinced that "Russian politics are based on historical lies and falsifications", watching the film is apparently not even necessary. He knows without watching that "even this film is based one a lie. There is a film of Sergey Bodrov "Gengiskhan" but even this picture did not manage to come close to true historical facts. Nevertheless it is still presented as a historical film". According to Wahit Imamov, nothing good can be expected of the Russians, and therefore "the government of Tatarstan should create its own cinematography".

Taking into account the feelings that reign in the heads of inspirers of this new "cinematographic" project, it is not hard to suggest towards which "noble" causes will this provincial "dream factory" be oriented. Being blinded by their nationalist "exceptionality" complex, they do not want to take anybody's opinion into account, and attempt to draw their fellow Tatars into empty, but highly dangerous conflicts with the Russians, and undermine the foundations of a unified Russian state. And this is not so funny "movie" unfortunately.

-Original author: Leonid Frolov       

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