The catalogue foreword to the “Free Thought” documentary section of the Moscow International Film Festival (June 19-26) is written by curators Sergey Miroshnichenko and Grigory Libergal. Their text is a reflection on ”patriotism”, that is a theme in several of the films. And maybe also an elegant tongue-in-cheek commentary to the country they live in. Read it:
Patriotism is such a meaningful and positive word, just like “patriot”. Probably they are the backbone of any state. But is there a code permitting to define a patriot? And can this right be delegated to one person or even one organization? This year’s program gives ample food for thought in this respect.
At the beginning the protagonist of the Chinese film “Young Patriot” is an enthusiastic advocate of orthodox patriotism. But these feelings undergo several tests in real life. Finally extending his knowledge of the world and the history of his country the main character finds space for another kind of patriotism , the conscious one! The mayor of a mining Chinese town is another example of such a person (“The Chinese Mayor”)
On the other hand, who is Edward Snowden, the protagonist of “CitizenFour”? is he a patriot or a traitor? Did he disclose a state secret or did he try to protect the citizens of his country?
Generally speaking, when we try to protect our nearest and dearest, how do we determine the moment when a monster starts growing inside us the way it happened to the characters of “Cartel Land”? When we strictly adhere to the rules, customs, ideology, are we not losing freedom like in Alex Gibney’s “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief’?
We are proud and glad that documentary filmmakers of the world discuss these topics. And we are glad to present to you our truly free program “Free Thought” as part of the 37th Moscow International Film Festival. We hope that after the screenings of these films you will look at the problems of the world and our country with open eyes. And that your patriotism will be conscious and inseparable from the word “conscience”.