The Captain’s Daughter – Russkiy Bunt – 2000 (FILM)

Faithfully based on Alexander Pushkin’s A History of Pugachev and the novella The Captain’s Daughter, the stirring historical Russian drama Russkiy Bunt (literal translation is Russian Riot but the film was released as The Captain’s Daughter) blends a love story against the backdrop of the Pugachev Rebellion 1773-1775, the final and arguably one of the most significant revolts against Muscovite domination and expansionism. Fascinated by Pugachev, Pushkin traveled to the Urals to gather information about this legendary, dissident Cossack. Tsar Nicholas I ordered Pushkin to alter the title of his work from A History of Pugachev to A History of the Pugachev Rising, and according to Paul Avrich’s wonderful book Russian Rebels 1600-1800, the Tsar decreed, “a criminal like Pugachev can have no history”. This statement is a rather naked affirmation of the fact that history is both created and destroyed by the state. Furthermore, Pushkin was subjected to increasing censorship and surveillance, and his death in a duel in 1837 was a targeted assassination.

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