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About Andrei Konchalovsky

Andrei Konchalovsky is theatre and film director and scriptwriter. His films are known and loved in Russia and other countries and have received numerous awards from various international film festivals.

Articles by Andrei Konchalovsky

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Russians, be horrified at yourselves!

Russia’s problems are many and varied – low life expectancy and falling population figures, soaring rates for crime, alcoholism and drug abuse, not to mention ubiquitous corruption. In a country rich in natural resources, half the population lives in poverty. Andrei Konchalovsky takes us through the horrifying facts and figures and argues that things can only change when Russians themselves learn to be horrified by them.

Protests and the badly ground flour of Russian history

Intellectuals are excited that this winter’s protests are a sign Russia could finally be turning into a democratic state. Andrei Konchalovsky urges them to look back into the country’s past and see how far Russians still must travel to become normal Europeans. The protesters must show caution, he argues, or risk the kind of bloodshed that has accompanied other attempts to modernise the country.

Where have all Russia's citizens gone?

Russian political observers have been titillated by Medvedev’s announcement that he will not be running for president. But what were they expecting? Andrei Konchalovsky was under no illusions: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

The living legacy of Russia’s slavery

Russian society has never learnt what it is to feel responsibility for anything. Serfdom was abolished 150 years ago, engendering feelings of panic in many of the ‘liberated’ peasants. Ivan Karamazov uses the Legend of the Grand Inquisitor to demonstrate that it’s easier when there is no freedom and decisions are taken higher up the vertical of power. Slavery too is a vertical, says Andrei Konchalovsky.

Gorbachev: the wrong man for Andropov’s reforms

Gorbachev is hailed for doing away with Soviet totalitarianism, yet his predecessor Andropov was the man actually responsible for preparing liberal reform some twenty years earlier. With Gorbachev hopelessly unaware of the forces he was unleashing, failure was inevitable, argues Andrei Konchalovsky

Awkward histories: the Holocaust

Whether in Russia or beyond, moves to rewrite awkward histories are always done with evil intent. When it is done in relation to genocide, it is doubly offensive. Andrei Konchalovsky reflects on last month's Holocaust Memorial Day

Russia: land of the Mob

Russia is deep in reflection about a mass murder that left twelve dead. For Andrei Konchalovsky, the most shocking thing about the Kuschevskaya killings was neither crime nor bungled cover-up, but the sobering thought that Russians are not really citizens. He implores his fellow countrymen to find their collective moral voice.

Update the software of the Russian soul?

Government attempts to modernise Russia are doomed because the Russian mindset remains stuck in an unchanging peasant mentality, laments film-director Andrei Konchalovsky. No change will be possible without reloading our spiritual software, but do we want to change?

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