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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Deputy Director




As a legislator, film director and State Duma Deputy Stanislav Govorukhin sponsored a bill "On state defense of citizens' health and morality ..." that was passed by the Duma after several years of debate, but vetoed by President Yeltsin in 1999. His latest film, "Voroshilovsky Strelok," is a story of vigilante retribution: After the rapists of a young woman get off the hook because one of them is the son of a police officer, the victim's outraged grandfather takes rifle in hand and goes after the criminals himself. Last month, Govorukhin announced his intention to run for president.


In December, St. Petersburg film critic Dmitry Savelyev spoke with the controversial lawmaker for the Russian-language edition of Playboy magazine. Part of this interview is featured below, with two additional questions regarding Govorukhin's presidential aspirations.


Q:


How many signatures have you collected thus far in support of your presidential bid?


A:


1,500,000.


Q:


Your chances for victory aren't especially high. What was your objective in deciding to run?


A:


To spoil the scenario of the elections made up by the Kremlin.


Q:


You have repeatedly called yourself a "reactionary." Are you proud of this title?


A:


Of course. I'm a traditionalist and a reactionary.


Q:


Excuse me, but the two aren't quite the same.


A:


Really, I'm still not sure what precisely the word "reactionary" means. ... But, come to think of it, yes, I'm an enemy of progress. Because in terms of morality, progress hasn't brought anything good. For instance, the computer craze - what has it led to? Children have stopped reading books. This is a national tragedy. They don't read, the parasites! That's just one example; there are a thousand more.


Q:


Once you realized [that your previous films] hadn't helped [make better citizens out of today's young people], you gave the old man in "Voroshilovsky Strelok" a sniper's rifle and threw your unconditional support behind the pensioner as he went to shoot the balls off the guys who hurt his granddaughter?


A:


Of course I'm on his side. And on the side of those three cops who got that scum to talk. If one of them wasn't a police colonel's son, those guys would have been f****d. They would've been thrown in a cell the very first night, raped there and transferred to another cell. And I'm all for that.


Q:


You're a Duma deputy, a lawmaker. Yet you support mob law?


A:


Yes, I'm a lawmaker. But I'm also a person and a father. Too bad I don't have a daughter, but I do have a niece who's like a daughter to me. If something like that happened to her, I'd find [the perpetrators] myself. I wouldn't kill them, but I'd definitely throw them in a cell with some real criminals.


Q:


What about [having] an investigation, trial, sentence and punishment - without the cell and criminals?


A:


Man, all that kind of talk is just, you know ... (Pause.) In short, I'm a living human being. When complete strangers are in question, of course I'll say, "Oh, how could you! That's horrible and unacceptable. You have to act according to the law." But if something like that involves me personally, I would want everything to be just like in the film.


Q:


I more or less understand why the trio of scoundrels ... includes the daddy's boy of a head cop and a kiosk owner. But why does the linguist draw fire from you?


A:


To hell with the linguist; we just made it up. ... We didn't mean anything by it, we just wanted him to be a man of science.


Q:


It's clear the guy is terribly far from "the people." Do you believe the son of a milling-machine operator would never even think of raping a girl?


A:


Tell me, who's serving in the army now, defending the Motherland? The children of workers and peasants. ... That means these soldiers' parents are moral people. They understand that the Motherland must be defended. ... So why should I put to shame these people, who don't get their salaries, who've been degraded and have nothing to eat? I'll never make the son of a laborer a rapist, I wouldn't get off on that. That's my civic position.


Q:


Some say you've made a harmful film because it stirs up base feelings of revenge. Others believe your film is not evil poison, but a pain-killer: The downtrodden get a chance to get over their hatred of the new times. Most likely, you prefer the second point of view. Then why do you feel ... that so-called "products of a sexual nature" are harmful and that browsing erotic magazines will inevitably end in violence against someone's granddaughter?


A:


The problem is that no one's actually read our law. I'm not at all opposed to that sort of pornography. ... Except for things that are absolutely forbidden - connected with violence, minors, sodo... I mean, what do you call it? Bestiality, necrophilia. None of that. Everything else is fine. But you shouldn't be able to buy such magazines on the Arbat. Only in sex shops, and properly packaged. And the sex shop should be located far from schools, churches and other cultural institutions - like they are all over the world.


Q:


In the United States ... television companies castrate films, cut out scabrous scenes or beep out strong language - and has all that had a big effect on the crime rate?


A:


Has it ever! There is no crime in America. Only in the movies. ... Well, maybe it exists in large metropolises - due to blacks and Latinos.


Q:


By the way, your law defines pornography, in part, as "cynical depictions or descriptions" of sexual acts. What do you mean by "cynical?"


A:


Damned if I know. (Pause.) In reality, it's always clear when a depiction is cynical and when it isn't. ... But you're probably right: We didn't express our idea very well. The wording should be clarified.


Q:


[Do you support a law] banning prostitution?


A:


Just the opposite. [Prostitution] should be legalized ... and placed under strict government control. ... Moscow is full of prostitutes. ... And what about the export of our girls abroad? All over Europe, all over the world, Russian prostitutes stand on every corner. ... What we're seeing is genocide - because it's the best ones that are getting shipped out.


Q:


You're sure they're the best?


A:


Of course! I mean physically. Who needs monsters over there? They take the best women, who could be giving birth to healthy, attractive children.