27 march 2020
3 min
Author: Kassym Akhat

Art and virgin land

Art and virgin land

Art also played a decisive role in implementing a grand state program for the development of virgin and fallow lands. Virgin campaign had become a truly popular theme in cinema, music, art, and literature. And today the focus will be on film works. Indeed, filmmakers were among the first to respond to the events of the virgin saga. However, despite all the epoch-making of what is happening, unfortunately, there were not as many movie works as we would like. Over 12 years, only 4 films saw the light. In 1979, a 4-episode film “Taste of Bread” was released on the screens of the country, in which the labor feat of the Soviet people was given a new meaning. The very next year, after the start of the campaign, the heroic-romantic drama “First Echelon”, shot at the Mosfilm film studio, appeared on a wide screen. The director was the world-famous film director Mikhail Kalatozov in the script of the completely odious playwright Nikolai Pogodin. The film was played by recognized masters of the cinema screen, among them Vsevolod Sanayev, and young stars of Soviet cinema - Oleg Yefremov, Tatyana Doronina, Isolda Izvitskaya and others.


The heroes of the film “First Echelon” were the first virgin lands pioneers, young Komsomol members who responded to the call of the party and the state. Citizens came to a remote Kazakh village to develop virgin lands. In the midst of grandiose events, complex relationships between young people unfold. Young men and women who are used to living in comfortable urban conditions find themselves in difficult conditions overnight, and it is they who will have to build a new life in the bare steppe, to establish all the benefits of civilization. The youngsters came here full of hope, confident that they are making a history, but very soon they will have to forget about those notions. Instead, they have to work day and night in difficult conditions, literally knee-deep in the mud. The knowledge that they received at home does not help them in the Kazakh steppe, so they have to forget them, but it is impossible to forget about the feelings that consume young people. Immediate, all-consuming youthful love sparked in difficult life conditions. This is exactly what the story of the secretary of the regional committee Kashtanov and sensual tractor driver Anna Zalogina is about.

 Photo kinopoisk.r

A year later, in 1956, viewers saw the second motion picture of the virgin lands and its workers. The work of Lev Kulidzhanov and Yakov Segel was called "It Began This Way." As in the previous film, Komsomol enthusiasts become its heroes. Yesterday's Moscow young activists arrive in faraway Kazakhstan. Again, the heroes encounter life difficulties, an unsettled life, but most of all, they were outraged by the bureaucracy and carelessness of some local state farm officials. All this entails the most sad consequences - the state farm is declining. And some after not being able to cope with them, are forced to abandon their dreams and return home, switch to easier work, but those who agree to stay, become not just witnesses, but direct participants in big changes. Moreover, at this time, a new initiative director appears here and the time for great transformation begins.

Perhaps the most popular film in this series was the film "Ivan Brovkin on the virgin lands", which became the continuation of the film "Soldier Ivan Brovkin." The viewer saw the continuation of the comedy in 1958. Here in the center of the story is not the fate of individual Komsomol enthusiasts, but the story of a former soldier who, despite all the entreaties of his relatives, decided to go to respond to the party’s call and go into the unknown - to conquer the virgin lands. The picture, despite the propaganda pathos, was still very much loved by the audience. After all, there was real life, that which the virgin lands pioneers saw every day. Moreover, for this comedy building the scenery was not necessary, it was shot at the real Komsomol state farm in the Orenburg region. Moreover, there were not only professional actors involved on the set, but also the residents of the state farm, people who went out into the field every day - tractor drivers and combine harvesters


Realizing the important role of people of art in the virgin campaign, the authorities awarded hundreds of artists with the medal “For the development of the virgin lands”. Although it was usually received only by the grain growers, engineers, and tractor drivers. And therefore, each artist especially appreciates the medal "For the development of virgin lands." For example, the famous Soviet actor, Honored Artist of the the Russian SFSR Alexander Shirvindt, among numerous awards, especially appreciates the medal "For the development of virgin and fallow lands": "Among the civilian awards, the most unique, I think, is the medal" For the development of virgin and fallow lands "... It was 1959, I worked the season at Lenkom. And our trade union leader Borya Ulyanov, a big enthusiast, decided to put together a team of artists on the virgin lands. He went to the Central Committee of the Komsomol, there they outragedly: "are you crazy, a brigade in February !" And he - he didn't budge, in short, 10 artists went to Kustanai. In February, everyone was sitting there on the wagons, freezing, and then the artists arrived. The temperature was -35 ° C, but we traveled around Kustanai to several sites, on one stretch we really nearly died. And there, in Kustanai, we were awarded these medals. ”


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