UPDATE from September 2022: Quite a number of English-translated films listed in this post have disappeared from YouTube since I published this in 2017. I have update “The Visitor from the Future” with the working links, but could not find English translations of some of the other now-missing titles. Still, I am leaving them in the post as a future reference.
One characteristic of the Soviet films that I hold dear, is that they are humane, moral (often without being moralising), centre on the characters, rather than action and events. The films for grown-ups, be it a war-time film or a film about a mundane everyday life, would always have several layers of meaning – good film makers knew how to convey what they wanted to say to the audience without raising the alarms of censorship. All that resulted in films that would have depth, satire, criticism, thoughtfulness in them.
But here I want to write about children films. The films that formed our, my, world view, that taught us about fairness, compassion, friendship, the pitfalls of negative relations. They were a joy to watch, and they left a trace in your heart, a moral compass that no religion can give you, as morality was based on your own desire to do good, rather than fearing a punishment from the holder of the scriptures if you do wrong.
One such outstanding film is “The Visitor from the Future”, released in 1985 and filmed at the Central Studio of Children and Youth Films named after M. Gorky in Moscow. And the bright star of that film is its title song, “The Beautiful Faraway”. In 1985 nothing was outwardly speaking of the time of troubles that lay ahead, in just short 7 years, the Wild 90’s and the Desolation of Yeltsin. But in retrospect, this song turned out to be prophetic, and at the same time it was a testament, an oath of how to conduct oneself in the difficult times ahead, how to stay strong. The song does not promise paradise lands, but rather trials and only asks to not be treated too cruelly along the way to the unknown future, walking the untrodden path towards the future of 2084.