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Interview with Bochilo, Nataliia (2014)

Analysis of Interview with Natalia Vladimirovna Bochilo.
Conducted by Micah Butler (interviewer) and Spencer Small (camera and sound) in July 2015.
Transcribed and translated by Micah Butler, Julia Seeley-Hall, and Spencer Small in Fall 2015.
Analysis written by Julia Seeley-Hall in Fall 2015.

Natalia Bochilo grew up in Irkutsk, Siberia. She came from an educated family – both of her parents were lawyers, her father in court and her mother for a textile factory (1:43-1:57). Bochilo herself is also highly educated – she has  a degree in philology, and teaches at Saint Petersburg State University (2:02-2:08). Bochilo traveled to Saint Petersburg several times before eventually moving there: once on a trip of unspecified length in eighth grade, and again for graduate school (2:14-2:34).

Bochilo recalls a small movie theater, about a twenty minute walk from her childhood home. The theater, which she thinks may have been called “Sunrise” sold children’s tickets for five to ten kopecks (3:28-4:10). She remembers standing in line for tickets then, an experience that has now become less common (9:33-9:50).  In childhood, visiting the movies was always a “special occasion” for Bochilo, (4:42) a feeling that has not changed for her as she has grown older (5:41).

One interesting note that Bochilo mentions is that some movies were viewed as unsuitable children under a certain age. When asked about this, she claims that there were certain movies that she was barred from seeing before the age of sixteen because they contained scenes “of an erotic character” (14:07-14:49). This stands in contrast with an earlier interview conducted with Vadim Levental, in which he confidently claims that until a few years ago, there were no rules prohibiting children form going to the movies and watching “any porn” (24:49). This points to shifts  in rules about content deemed not suitable for children in movies at different periods of Russian history and in different regions of Russia.  Natalia grew up in Irkutsk in the late Soviet era and Vadim grew up in St. Petersburg in the 1990s.

In general, Bochilo uses formal, even pedantic language in this interview, and recalls few specifics about her movie-going experience.  She mentions only one film director–art cinema filmmaker Andrei Tarkovskii.  She does, however, have  strong feelings about movie-going in general and film as an art form. Although she watches fewer movies now than when she was a child, she still enjoys going to the movies for the atmosphere of the theater, saying that it changes the way movies are perceived (18:11-19:15). Bochilo also believes that movies provide people an opportunity to explore their “inner world,” and should exist for edification, not just entertainment (20:20-21:28).

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