The film "Territory" was not widely publicized even before the screening, as, for example, "Leviathan", and out of habit, seeing the new name, one would think that this is something ordinary. But it turned out that there is a real masterpiece behind the modest title of the picture …
Recently we have seen what can be called the revival of Russian cinema. Cinema is not just a set of technically fresh techniques and beautiful shots, but as a speaking art - one that awakens the best that is in us, which carries real values and is saturated with the mental atmosphere of the “mysterious Russian soul”.
The film "Territory" is an indisputable confirmation of this. This film was not widely publicized before the show, as, for example, "Leviathan", and out of habit, seeing the new name, one would think that this is something ordinary. But it turned out that behind the modest title of the picture is a real masterpiece.
The film is deeply patriotic, it voices the true values of the Russian people, shows our spiritual search based on the collectivist mentality, conveys our attitude to pettiness, greed, material values and tells amazingly beautifully about the life of Soviet people.
In the name of society, in the name of the state
Let's start with the fact that the film is unusually beautiful. It's especially great to watch on the big screen. Probably few people know that there are such semi-real landscapes in our country, such incredible reliefs covered with snow and ice. Against their background, an individual person really seems to be a small insignificant point, which figuratively makes us understand that the life of an individual person in itself is worthless, it makes sense only in the context of the Whole. A person lives his life in a team, he is what he does, how he realizes himself outward.
The film tells about the life of Russian geologists who search for gold in the vast northern territory off the coast of the Arctic Ocean. This search is organized by one of the main characters, the leading geologist of Sevstroy, Ilya Chinkov.
Why did he start this? For money? Not at all. Chinkov is a person with a skin-sound ligament (like most people from his team), which forms an unconditional devotion to an idea in a person. This may be an idea of a different scale, but in this case it is the scale of the entire country - Soviet society raised people with the priority of the general over the particular, and each person felt involved in something big, because he worked for this big thing.
Chinkov did not think about getting rich. It was this state of emotional passion, the state of joy from the implementation of the idea, from the very process of the search that was important to him. For a sound engineer, FAITH is important, a feeling that is higher than knowledge and experience, and in this case it was faith in the great capabilities of his country and the strength of the human spirit.
This was part of the work for a common bright future. People of those generations did not know how to live differently - only for the sake of the future. These people were sincerely surprised when someone took something for themselves. When a young washer, having found three grains of gold, instead of showing them to his superiors, hides them in his pocket with the idea of sending them to his old beloved, the next moment he experiences wild shame, and after a while he comes to repent.
It was not just shame when he disgraced himself in front of someone. This feeling is much stronger - it is social shame. An integral part of our mentality, in which there is a hierarchy based on the principle of bestowal: at the top is the urethral leader, for whom the life of the pack is more important than his own, and the rest from this leader receive protection and security and are alive by how much they give from themselves in the name of the well-being of society.
The more you gave, realized yourself - the higher your "rank", the more filled your life. Lack of realization or the desire to "grab" into your pocket was immediately punished (not by someone - by nature itself) with a feeling of terrible shame, such that it was better to die. This was the case when our social formation corresponded to our mentality. It is social, animal shame, not the law, that is the best regulator for us. The law is not written to us. What law can there be when mercy and justice reign here?
Search as the meaning of life
A very beautiful character - Baklakov. Also a skin sound specialist. Others cannot survive in such conditions: harsh conditions, constant expeditions, often alone. Only for the sound engineer is this a joy. And only he will not panic under unpredictable life-threatening circumstances, as he is able to abstract from the material, including from his own body, in order to concentrate on more, on more important things.
Baklakov easily agrees to a multi-day hiking solo expedition, knowing neither the exact route nor the obstacles awaiting him. He is a "vagabond," as the film says about him. Silent, unpretentious, not burdensome in communication.
The stunning episode, when Baklakov crosses the river, overshadows many similar ones in its epic character. The question "why are there so many people who wanted to live and failed?" overturns the consciousness of the modern viewer. Why do we actually live our life and what is really valuable in it? Looking at Baklakov, at these simple guys, gold washers, you understand: they - they managed.
At the end of the expedition Baklakov had to write a detailed report on it. As with all his work, he took it with all responsibility and dedication. We observe how, as a result of long and difficult concentration, tremendous work of the mind, it generates discovery with the power of thought. Something invisible appears in the process of such concentration … There is some kind of unconditional confidence that there are such granites in which there is gold.
Sound work - the work of the mind - is the hardest. But if the sound engineer concentrates correctly - not inside himself, but outside - on an idea, on something significant - then this same work brings him deep inner pleasure and a desire to make more and more breakthroughs in thought.
Another sound engineer is Gurin. He does not look like Baklakov. This character can be said to be more depressed, egocentric. It can be seen that his internal search is not limited to the search for gold. He goes deeper, into knowing himself, trying to understand his place in this world, to understand the essence of human relations. He calls himself a solitary philosopher and penultimate adventurer.
But, as can be seen from his state, this search has so far led him into a sense of meaninglessness, although outwardly he looks like a person who knows what he wants. He does not really like people, although he has to communicate with them: like many sound people, he is arrogant. Even with a woman, he communicates downright, letting her know that he is not going to change and that he is one of those who need to be loved as he is.
Gurin is indeed an "adventurer". Perhaps it was his search for something more, a long-awaited sense of life, not meaninglessness, that brought him to the Territory. On one of the reconnaissance expeditions, skiing down the mountain, he breaks both his legs. The soundman does not spare his body. However, lying on the sleigh, he realizes that without legs he can no longer be himself. He will become “below” himself and look at such himself with contempt, from the bell tower of his arrogance.
Then, lying with broken legs in a cave, he thinks that now his life - his, so smart and unique - depends on an ordinary person, a shepherd, who drives his deer and pulls him out of his last strength. This is a very important thought - about how we all depend on each other, how much each person, being at the right time in the right place, influences the fate of others, and as a result, our common fate. There are no superfluous people.
Old man Kyae is a character as if from another reality. For him, time flows in a different way, more precisely, time does not seem to exist at all. And he has no less wisdom than a Tibetan monk. He all sits in one place, and all people pass through him, each draws something from his Buddhist calmness and leaves him something from his experience. The wise old man personifies the muscle component of our mentality.
The pure muscle vector is monotonous work (in peacetime), without any special impressions, emotions and search for meaning. This meaning is there from the very beginning, and the muscle does not need to look for it.
The muscle vector is the basis of everything, the basis of life, its foundation. All his desires are to eat, drink, breathe, sleep. Kyae says to Baklakov: "Eat, sleep, eat, sleep, as you get better, go." The muscle vector is also unpretentious, but not because it does not feel the material, on the contrary - it is matter itself. It's just that there is nothing for him except matter. And he has no other desires - fame, wealth, reverence, respect. Only what is necessary for the life of the body. And inside he knows that death is not the end, but on the contrary - a return to the place where it is good, as if back into the womb. Therefore, he treats death with special honor, without fear. And he does not feel the flow of time in a state of monotony either.
The real WE
The moment that shows who we really are when we are "at ease" is a collective episode at the end of the film. The strength of our urethral-muscular mentality lies in the feeling that we are part of a huge Whole, in the feeling of belonging to everything that happens with this Whole, with our country. The feeling that there are no strangers, we are all our own. The good of the country is higher than its own.
And now, somewhere on the very edge of Russia, among the impassable ice, snowy peaks, among the tundra chained in ice, the radio announces the flight of the first man into space. About the flight of Our man - Yuri Gagarin. Space and Northern Ice - how far apart they are … But one must see the joy of the group of geologists after they heard this news! This joy is sincere, real, the feeling of pride comes from within, from there, where a huge country and its future have become more important than themselves, more important than their comfort.
This episode is incredibly beautiful and very significant in its meaning. This is what we were and what we can be. If we go along our own path, which is predetermined for us by nature. This is what we must lead the whole world to. To the feeling of the uniqueness of the species called Man. To the understanding that living for oneself is living in vain, since there is no point in a single life.
Anyone who lives “for himself” and tries to grab something from the common pot will disappear into obscurity, they will not remember him and pay no attention, just as Kutsenko, who wanted to kill a comrade for a portion of gold, did not pay attention. Nobody punished him, did not bring him to trial - they simply did not remember him.
The urethral mentality does not perceive the values of the skin vector, especially such a small and thieving one. In the film he is not punished - as a symbol of our contempt for the petty selfishness of an individual. He simply does not exist, he is zero. He has no place in society, he is excluded as an unnecessary element. And this is much worse than human judgment.
Everyone in their place
There is no one random in this world. No one more. Each person, whether he knows about it or not, is a part of a single organism and with his every action contributes to his destiny.
Zhora Apriatin's character lacked stars from the sky and was not an outstanding and talented geologist like his grandfather. "Nature sculpted him in the image of a Viking, but somewhere along the way it got distracted." He is soundly egocentric and closed, in an anal way hesitant, touchy, nervous when yelling at him. In public, he tries to maintain an ideal image, although inside he feels discomfort from interacting with others.
When it so happened that his people went on an expedition, and he could not send them food, he suffered for a long time, worried inside himself, prayed that they would last, but did not dare to tell anyone, although this seems to be an obvious step in such a situation. However, he also could not fail to say, and nevertheless decided on it a few days later, when the danger of losing people was already too serious.
This same Zhora, finding the badly wounded Baklakov, could not leave him to die and dragged him alone through the endless ice desert. He was exhausted, did not eat anything, the cold wind burned his face, and the road was incredibly long … But he walked. Not falling, not giving up, not giving up slack and not allowing yourself to fall from fatigue. He walked to the end, having no right to abandon his comrade before his conscience.
He was ready to die with him, but this did not happen. Those values and guidelines that are deep inside a person with a urethral mentality lead him unmistakably and precisely towards the common good, where the life of a friend is more important than his own, where there is no place for self-pity when it comes to other people. Conscience, duty, as well as something deeper and more important, what he believed in, did not let him weaken.
Zhora reached the end. On his last legs, only after making sure that help is coming, he falls exhausted, but his soul is happy and calm - he has done his duty.
It was only thanks to this that the very discovery happened, which they all had been waiting for and for which each of them worked selflessly. This is their common discovery. Common cause. There was not a single random person in it, each one put a part of himself into it. Each of these simple Russian guys are geologists. Without their collective well-coordinated work aimed at one big and noble goal, there would be nothing.
Today we would call them heroes or crazy, but then they were ordinary people, only inside they had a guiding torch burning, giving a sense of the meaning of their existence and involvement in everything that happens to our country. When everyone is burning with these values, there cannot be anyone superfluous and accidental.
The work of a huge number of people was invested in the film, and each of them worked the way these geologists worked: with full dedication, seeing a general idea in front of him, investing a particle of himself. This can be seen in the result: the work is of incredible quality, both in terms of the picture and in the meaning.
The idea of the film, which was based on the novel by the Soviet writer-geologist Oleg Kuvaev, could not leave indifferent its creators, everyone who worked on it, since it touched the deepest strings of the Russian soul, awakened something like nostalgia for our roots, our essence to live for the sake of the future, with the priority of the whole over the particular. These thoughts are transmitted to the viewer, awakening high thoughts and feelings: "What have I done to make our common life better?"