UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Who Are the Russians in the Documentaries? Analysing the Everyday in Russian TV Documentary Films

11 November 2019, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

House with Russian Painting

A Russian Cinema Research Group seminar with Anastasia Kriachko Roeren

This event is free.

Event Information

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Russian Cinema Research Group


Masaryk Room
16 Taviton Street

This paper explores the production of Russian TV documentaries between 2012 and 2018 as the routinised everyday practice of nation building. In particular, I see TV documentary films as representing an essential component in constructing Russian national identity. I analyse the phenomenon of recent TV production where Russian television screens are saturated with a new documented reality. I examine the transformation of the genre of the documentary film in practice, considering the way facts are presented, the way the notion of truth is framed and how the new genre impacts on and mediates the construction of Russian identity. I look at documentary films offered by Russia 1, Channel One, NTV, TV Centre and OTR. In order to demonstrate the whole universe of films that are reconstituting the Russian nation on TV, I identify the main topics of the films and their markers of national identity. To understand the everyday routine of TV documentaries and the way they influence audiences’ opinions and views, I explore how audiovisual tools and narratives are used to perform and reiterate the following themes: leader and nation; war and peace; the land; science and technology; the Orthodox church and faith; nostalgia for the past; Crimea. Crucially, the documentaries offer an insight into the essential question: who are we as Russians?

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About the Speaker

Anastasia Kriachko Roeren

PhD Candidate at University of Oslo

Anastasia Kriachko Roeren is a PhD candidate at the University of Oslo. Anastasia’s background is in audiovisual archives (Russian State University for the Humanities) and East European studies (Bologna University). She worked for several years in the audiovisual archives of a Russian state TV channel and was involved in the production of documentary films. She started her research in 2017 under supervision of Pål Kolstø and Stephen Norris. Her dissertation focuses on the nation-building process in Russia as presented in, and affected by, documentary films.