NASHI / OURS
video, 26 min, 2008
Dutch artist and filmmaker Daya Cahen often works as an ‘embedded artist’. In 2007 she managed to infiltrate a summer camp of the radical youth movement Nashi (“Ours”), affiliated with Vladimir Putin.
In Cahen’s resulting film, titledNashi, a group of young recruits speak in an eerily homogenous way of their desire to become great patriots and make Russia the world leader of the 21st century. Fifteen years later, seen in the light of Russia’s war in Ukraine, this film can be called visionary, laying bare the system of indoctrination of Russia’s youth.
In this summer camp 10.000 Russian boys and girls were pbeing prepared for their "heroic" future. They spent two weeks in lockdown, while red banners and loudspeakers hanging from the dome tents in the woods tell them what their future should be. They were "the chosen ones of Russia"; the future managers, politicians and military leaders of the country. The aim of the movement was to make Russia "the global leader of the 21st Century". A manifest was teaching them to sacrifice their life for their country, while Putin looked down on them from behind the trees.
At the same time the West was ridiculed and anti-American sentiments were enforced by role-play of ever drunken Americans and Putin’s opponents in prison clothes, portrayed as fascists and placed behind barbed wire.
This film was kindly supported by the
Mondriaan Foundation, Dutch Filmfund,
Stichting Democratie en Media and Camalot
Director Daya Cahen
Editor Daya Cahen
Camera 1 Daya Cahen
Camera 2 Daya Cahen
Sound Danila Cahen
Fixer Russia Olga Kravetz
Soundmix Ferry de Pater
Watch interview in talkshow "M" about Nashi here
Essay by Maria Barnas on 'Nashi' and other works for NRC Handelsblad