This article addresses the aesthetic history and banning of Abram Room's Strogii iunosha (A strict young man, 1936) in the context of the 1936 campaign against formalism and naturalism in Soviet art. I show that the film's experimental style was not the cause of its banning and argue that the antiformalism campaign was a political rather than aesthetic event. What the campaign demanded was a shift in mode, from form centered to theme centered, and it was this disruptive shift that rendered Soviet cinema unproductive after 1936.
Slavic Review is an international interdisciplinary journal devoted to the study of eastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, past and present.
The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), a nonprofit, non-political, scholarly society, is the leading private organization in the world dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, and East-Central Europe in regional and global context.