We shouldn’t disappoint and betray, but just love each other11.03.2009 | 15:11
The task of sorting out the difficult relations between Georgia and Russia has slowly but surely switched from stern conference rooms in international organizations to the big stage. Singers, actors and directors are striving to tell the truth about the August events. Each with their own version of it... The desperate step taken by the Georgian performers of the song "We don't wanna put in" has provoked nothing but bewilderment. Whereas the clip by Vakhtang Kikabidze, which we in Russia love despite everything, has provoked a storm of emotions.
At least, that is the conclusion that can be drawn from the comments left on the site of Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty), where it was uploaded. The song is called: "You have disappointed me". The epigraph to the clip is a quote from Evgeny Evtushenko: "Having imprudently forgotten about Georgia, it is hence impossible to be in Russia". The video sequence is a retrospective of the main events in Georgian-Russian relations: from Bella Akhmadulina and Andrey Voznesensky's declarations of love for "hunchbacked Tiflis", from the sincere embraces between the creative intelligentsia of the two countries - to documentary footage of the August war. The melody is known to everyone: the tune from "Little gypsy girls". The lyrics were written by the Georgian television
journalist, Goga Chanturia.
If it were not for the comments accompanying the clip, it would be difficult to suspect that Buba had "thrown down a challenge to Russia" in this clip. Perhaps everyone who has just as much of an interest in Russia and Georgia can subscribe to the lyrics of this song, everyone who believes that the worst is behind us and there is hope, if not for the love of the old days, then for rational partnership, as it is now being called.
However, in an interview with Radio Svoboda, Vakhtang Kikabidze himself says that the song is aimed at the Russian intelligentsia, who remained silent both during the August events and after them. Vakhtang Kikabidze remarks: "We didn't just want to make a clip about the war, in order to break people's hearts... With this clip, we have reminded them that we (and representatives of the Russian intelligentsia) used to be friends..."
As the American Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, the sad song by the famous Georgian singer has hit a "false note" in Russia. According to the arts critic for the Moscow Times newspaper, Anna Malpas, Vakhtang Kikabidze's song will probably offend those Russians who grew up alongside the singer and who regard him as a Soviet artist more than a Georgian one.
Yes, there have been many comments about the clip. Some people picked up on the rhetoric surrounding the August events and launched into criticism of Buba. But then there are those like Yury from Moscow who writes: "Vakhtang, thank you for the song. We have been pumped full of hatred for a brotherly people, but this will pass, friendship will remain, because there's no other alternative. Your songs are played on the radio, your films are shown on TV, and this means that there is no room for malice and hatred in the hearts of most Russians. Politicians aren't insured against mistakes, it's just that the price of these mistakes is very high."
Your GeorgiaTimes correspondent has tried to find out the reaction to the clip of those people who Buba's song was aimed at.
People's artist of Russia, Mikhail Boyarsky: Whatever Buba says, I will always view him as I did before. I'll put it like this: people loved him, love him and will continue to love him. And as far as his appeal to the Russian intelligentsia is concerned, they have always been passive. Unlike progressive young people, they will not take to the streets. As far as creative people are concerned, I think that they're better steering clear of politics. And as regards ordinary people - neither August nor any other events can change their attitude towards the Georgians. If I go to Tbilisi, I am convinced that I won't feel like a foreigner. I'll go to Tbilisi, and I'll be happy to do so.
I deliberately phone another famous Georgian - people's artist of the USSR, Oleg Basilashvili: I don't really understand why Kikabidze thinks that the entire Russian intelligentsia betrayed their friendship. This entire political campaign leaves a heavy feeling. I was very worried for the people who ended up on the Georgian-Ossetian border. I grew up in the village of Karbi, which is where fighting took place in August. I put across my position: "I'm ashamed both for Russia and Georgia". As a Russian, I'm ashamed that our tanks entered Gori, and as a Georgian I'm ashamed for Georgia's rulers who, in an outpouring of nationalism, were unable to hold back their emotions and tore at Tskhinvali, sacrificing the lives of their own citizens. As far as love is concerned - people here loved Kikabidze and still love him. And people have just as much affection for Georgians now as they did before. Because Russians and Georgians are the most closely connected nations. They have become intertwined - and not only in literature and art...