The Man Who Took an Interview

[Chelovek, kotoryi bral interv'iu]

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Belarusfilm, Soviet Union. 1986. 91 minutes. color.
Directed: Iurii Marukhin
Written: Iona Andronov, Anatolii Kudriavtsev
Camera: Vladimir Kalashnikov
Original Music: Faradzh Karayer
With: Aristakh Livanov and Andrei Miagkov

As recent news has reminded us, the loss of cultural treasures is among the most devastating effects of war. It depletes a nation's history, culture, and religion – the constituents of a nation's identity. In Marukhin's film Afghanistan's cultural history is under siege – one of its most tremendous ancient treasures has been bombed and looted – and America is to blame. Worse yet, not only is a significant remnant of the Middle East's ancient culture destroyed, but the Afghani population is also in danger – an epidemic is sweeping across the country. Afghanis bring Moscow journalist Aleksei Usanov to their destroyed cultural treasure and ask that he photograph it, publish the photographs, and let the world know of the tragedy; in the process he learns of the epidemic. Upon investigation, Usanov discovers much unsettling information.

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Marukhin's film presents clear categories: whereas the Moscow journalist is on a quest for truth, the Americans, and those who work for them, go to any length to conceal the truth. The film depends on a third country, Afghanistan, in order to highlight Russia's beneficent role as the savior and to demonize America's approach to international relations.

Iurii Marukhin

Iurii Marukhin (1938-2001), who is better known as a cinematographer, shot over ten films from 1969 to 2001. Up until 1990 he worked in the Soviet Union, after 1990 he worked on films produced in Israel, Germany, and America. The Man Who Took An Interview is the only movie that Marukhin directed.

Cinematographer filmography

1968 The Eastern Passage (dir. Valentin Vinogradov, USSR)
1969 Wait For Me Anna (dir. Valentin Vinogradov, USSR)
1971 The Lion's Grave (dir. Valeri Rubinchik, USSR)
1977 Half Face and Full Face (dirs. Nikolai Lukianov and Sergei Sychev, USSR)
1980 Floods (dir. Vitali Chetverikov, USSR)
1990 Road Hawks (dir. Samuel Gasparov, USSR)
1994 In the Name of Love (dir. Idit Shehori, Israel)
1995 Russian Roulette-Moscow 95 (dir. Menahem Golan, Germany)
1998 Breaking the Silence (dir. Menahem Golan, unknown)
2001 Death Game (dir. Menahem Golan, USA)

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