Fines for movies in Russian16.04.2010 | 23:51
Georgia continues expelling the Russian language slowly but steadily. This year, foreign films dubbed in Russian will be prohibited in the cinemas. There are no more such films on TV. Still, the Georgian interlocutors of GeorgiaTimes believe that there is no tragedy here. They call it the realization of the Georgian independence.
Good Russian is becoming a sign of elitism in Georgia: the general learning of Russian has been long given up, while there are few who can afford studying at a Russian school or tutoring.
After the 2008 war, the state enhanced the extrusion of the Russian language from the cultural space of Georgia. Last year, amendments were made to the law "About broadcasting", according to which the TV broadcasting of the foreign films in Russian was prohibited. Russian films were an exception.
The similar proposals were made by Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Education, Science and Culture Georgiy Gabashvili in respect of the film distribution. However, for some reason they were never fixed at the legislative level.
Thus, this year the issue of the wide-screen movies emerged again. This time, the initiative was shown by President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili who did not only propose to get rid of the Russian dubbing but suggested switching off the Georgian dubbing as well. He suggested having only the original language and giving small Georgian titles at the bottom of the screen. That will be the way to make the people learn English, French and, perhaps, Chinese together with Japanese.
President's Parliamentary Secretary Irakli Gogilisdze has already submitted to the delegates the corresponding amendments to the law "About the state support of the national cinematography". He says that the demonstration of films in the original will contribute to better understanding of the foreign language and comprehensive perception of the works of art.
The law is going to be obligatory, not recommendatory for the cinemas. Those who violate the law are going to be fined. The fines will be specified in the Code of Administrative Offences. In case of the law violation the administration of the cinema will have to pay a 1500-laris fine. In case of a repeat violation, the fine will be increased up to three thousand laris, while each further fact of non-compliance with the law requirements will entail a 10-thousand-laris fine.
Georgiy Gabashvili has already expressed his opinion that it is probably better to dub the film in Georgian rather than give the titles. At least, it would be better for strengthening the state status of the Georgian language. However, the pro-western president has got a different opinion.
The delegate also underlined that the cinema owners have to purchase and install new equipment to switch to the new rules of movie demonstration. This will take time, so Gabashvili suggested setting a half-year term to let the law come into effect.
GeorgiaTimes asked member of the Reaction Internet forum Giga Nasaridze to give his assessment of the draft law. Last year, on February 25, on the anniversary of the so-called "Soviet occupation of Georgia" by the Red Army he suggested boycotting the Russian language. He should have rejoiced the new initiative like nobody else. However, it turned out that he does not regard the draft law as a means of struggling against the Russian language.
- There is no struggle against any language; this is just the correct state approach. We will have the Georgian titles, while the films will be shown in the original, and the Russian films will be shown in Russian.
- Don't you think it would be better to dub all the films in Georgian?
- No, I believe one can better understand a film in the original.
- What is the reason of the disappearance of the Russian language in Georgia: is it just the inter-state problems?
- The new generation knows Russian worse and learns it less. English is becoming more popular. Perhaps, the relationship with Russia has played its role: after all, there was a war, which is not over yet, in my opinion.
The feeling that Russian is practically unwanted in Georgia today was chased away by GeorgiaTimes Moscow interlocutor, President of Lazare Georgian Youth Movement Dzhoni Kvaratskhelia.
- I would like to underline that there are over 100 official state Russian-language schools in Georgia. One cannot say that the whole country is Russified. Russian is more rarely used, indeed; still, this is no tragedy for Georgia or for Russia. Georgia is an independent state. It has got its own language and alphabet, which is normal. There are also secondary languages, such as Russian and English and I must say that English is becoming more popular in Russia as well, expelling other languages from the Internet space.
- Do you agree that the films should be shown in foreign languages with the Georgian titles?