Wartime Filmmaking on the Margins: Soiuzdetfilm in Evacuation in Stalinabad, 1941-43
For many Soviet cultural figures, the Second World War was a time of relative artistic freedom from Stalin’s regime. Yet for the youth film studio, Soiuzdetfilm, the war was a time of deprivation and disconnection from the creative world. Soiuzdetfilm and other studios went to Central Asia. Unlike Mosfilm and Lenfilm, united in Alma-Ata (Almaty), Kazakhstan, Soiuzdetfilm went to Stalinabad (Dushanbe), Tajikistan from late 1941 through 1943. Separated from the filmmaking world, Soiuzdetfilm experienced evacuation as a period of rancorous disputes and all too few achievements. Regional party leaders’ insistence that the studio collaborate with local artists on Tajik themed films, far from easing isolation, further divided the studio from its leadership. Although the wartime reconfiguration of the Soviet cultural world spurred collaboration in some areas of the Soviet cultural world, at Soiuzdetfilm evacuation caused only disruption and tension.