Edition : Studies in Russian and Soviet Cinema 1.2, 131-145, 2007
1991 - 1993
The Sentimental Policeman (1992) by Kira Muratova can be linked to the Russian fairy tale because of its ‘a-psychological’ characters and because of the similarity between the use of language in the film and in folk narration: the dialogue is full of redundant expressions (typical of folk narration) and of magical formulae. This article analyses the film in the light of Vladimir Propp's theory of the fairy tale structure, and reaches a seemingly contradictory conclusion: while the fairy tale hero traditionally rejects consanguinity bonds (family) in favour of alliance bonds (marriage), the film hero aspires to create consanguinity bonds (by having children) but manages to do so only in the end. Moreover, whereas in previous films by Muratova the narration was impregnated with (and depended on) the inner world and the emotional crisis of characters, in The Sentimental Policeman – and in later films – the characters are shown from an external, neutral point of view, allowing them to develop. The fairy tale narrative of The Sentimental Policeman thus marks a new phase in Muratova's cinematic oeuvre.