23 September 2008 | przgzr
Six for general population, almost ten for the youngest
"Bratya Komarovi" brings back to memory a time that has vanished, that makes us wonder if it has ever existed. Yes, we still remember politics and USSR. And we can feel again their never-ending propaganda, even children movies were not free of it - in fact, they were saturated with the forced enthusiasm, promises, ideas supposed to be implanted in kids' minds to last forever so they would never lose faith in communism, leading Party and the only real way to prosperity.
They failed, this prosperity never came and enthusiasm was gone, now it is only a dim childhood memory of something that most people would rather completely forget that had ever happened.
However, together with the Party, the bright future, the best system (and all its enemies), some other things also stopped existing, and people don't even feel sorry, not so much because they might be connected with certain politics, but more because the new life wiped them away from brains and left them in the bottom of some drawer of mind that is never open.
Days of free childhood. Days when you, as a parent, could send your kid to summer camp without any real care. Days when you, as a child, could look forward to visiting these camps, to make new friendships and adventures without 24 hours a day total surveillance. Freedom and joy. No terrorist attacks, no rapists on the streets, no bank robberies, no kidnappers in the parks, no life threatening danger. Or maybe... Yes, probably these things existed, but both government and media didn't do their best to scare people, so they didn't spent their lifetime living in fear. There was something positive in the air, not only USSR or Eastern Europe, but the rest of Europe was also healing the wounds of the War and trying to create the better world. Better for themselves, and especially for the kids hoping they'd never have to experience the horror their parents still had in vivid memory - fear for life, hiding in shelters, hunger, police and army in the streets, insecurity in trivial things like going to school or shop...
But today those kids are not only grown-ups, they have their children and most likely grandchildren, and I wonder if they ever try to tell their offspring about the childhood which their kids will never experience. Or they hide it because these children might get some dangerous ideas like playing with other kids, going to meadows and woods...
"Bratya Komarovi" is a movie about the innocence. The innocence that is gone, maybe for good. The innocence that we feel from the camera, from the eye of the director, from the humans and nature. The innocence that even the newborns don't have in the 21st century, because in mother's womb they already gain all mother's fears and disappointments, stress and worry. The innocence that the oldest people don't dare to talk about because nobody would believe them, and they sometimes also wonder if it was real, or just a fruit of their senile imagination. The innocence that was so typical in European movies in 50's and early 60's (in Sweden or Czechoslovakia, Austria or USSR) with no big events, no heroes or villains.
The story about three brothers... no, there is no story: these are only fragments of their holiday, of joy and amusement, their new experiences - from wondering in the nature and meeting animals to helping a wounded peer. And a little, unobtrusive lesson about loyalty and emotions...
This is a movie for young children, those who can be impressed by seeing a frog or a hedgehog, who still find going to the ZOO the most exciting possible event, who won't complain because the picture is black&white and the music hopelessly inappropriate old-fashioned and too serious. And you can have an hour for yourself, with no need to keep an eye on the screen if something disturbing might appear. The only one disturbed person might be the parent who can realize that there was a different world outside fairy tales, but we let it slip through our fingers.