“Give Me the Book of Complaints”: Complaint in Post-Stalin Comedy

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Milla Fedorova


Post-Stalinism, Complaint, Denunciation, Satire, Comedy, Film, Thaw, Riazanov, Gaidai, Daneliia, Klimov


This essay investigates how the means of complaint and the figure of the complainer changed in Soviet comedy films from the Stalin era to the 1960s–1970s. It focuses on the ambiguous nature of complaint during the Thaw and the subsequent Stagnation, periods of radical social change—namely, differentiation between complaint as an instrument of expressing grievance and denunciation as a means to harm an undesirable person. The essay discusses how the motif of complaint correlates with the function of the satirical genre—to expose social and political shortcomings. In English.


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