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Bard Yuli Kim: “the Slave component is our story”

December 23 marks the 80th anniversary of the poet, playwright, composer, and bard, Yuliy Kim. The songs on his verses sound in films “Bumbarash”, “12 chairs”, “heart of a Dog”, “Ordinary miracle, Formula of love” in the famous cartoon “Very blue beard”, “the Ugly duckling”. He is the author of the libretto of the musical “Monte Cristo”, “Count Orlov”, “Anna Karenina” and many plays. On the eve of the anniversary, we spoke with Julius Kim.


photo: From personal archive

— As I understand it, you are now in the city of Jerusalem, bask in the sun, unlike us, orphaned and poor?

— Yes, heated. We now have +18. I look out the window, I see a cloudless sky. Walk in the light jacket open.

— So you are a sun person, don’t like winter, cold?

— I universal climate the body for the reason that in my biography there are three years in the North of Kamchatka and three years in Turkmenistan . In Turkmenistan, when I lived there in the summer was 40 in the shade, and on the Kamchatka Peninsula -30 in the winter. It happened abruptly, so I hardened. I once flew from Norilsk, from -30 with a short stop in Moscow, in tel Aviv, where it was +30, and no change in your body is not felt.

But the Kamchatka Peninsula, Noril’sk, Turkmenistan is not what is called “places not so remote”?

— No, it was quite natural periods in my career. Kamchatka is associated with the Institute, which I graduated in 1959, and then it was three years, according to the labor agreement. The happiest time! I forever fell in love with Kamchatka. Have since been there seven times. In Turkmenistan I finished high school from 8 th to 10 th grade, which is associated with the biography of my mother. She at one time was subjected to repression, and sister haven’t seen her in nine years, since she was serving in the camps. Of course, under the Stalinist terror of the wicked. Then she was allowed to return, but not in Moscow, where it was taken, and for the 101st kilometer. And after a while she went to Turkmenistan, because for the 101-kilometer life has become unbearable. So this is repression, but indirectly. And in the Turkmen SSR. life was good to us.

— Your father was shot in 38-m to year, you were two. What case was this?

— It is necessary again and again to speak about Stalin’s terror, the horror and distortions. Father took in November 37th with a large group of Koreans in Moscow. And since then it was a great strained relations with Japan, including military conflict at lake Khasan and the river Khalkhin-Gol, all of them falsely accused of espionage in favor of Japan. Using the current Korean community in Moscow, my sister and I were able to visit the place where the mass grave are victims of terror, and among them the father. A roll-call of the graves had already left. This place is called Kommunarka, and she was once the personal residence of Henry Berry, and after he was caught in the ice rink, has become a state-owned dacha of NKVD. There is an extensive meadow, which was called a hit — whether because there were shot, either because they were buried, shot in the Lubyanka.


photo: From personal archive
With students of the PMS, 1966.

— Now Stalin is again very much alive. And is our struggle for how we will live tomorrow or today, either with Stalin or Stalin. You, the person who so tragically all that experienced, what do you think about this?

— It is a great misfortune of our nation that haunts him to this day. I’m only surprised strange respect, reverence and even a timid reverence for the tyrant, executioner, a villain who is equal to few in the history of mankind, passed down to those who are now 40 or 30 years that have not experienced it themselves. Many of them don’t want to hear about Stalin, the despot, the executioner and the murderer. As far as I know, he did not shoot anyone, but it seems to be in torture is present. But this is not important. The important thing is that he signed a massive list recommended for shooting, with its short resolution “to shoot”. It is also known that all these people he sent to death were subsequently exonerated, that is, they had no crime for the soul, even by the standards of Soviet law. It was a terror, having the character of an absolutely lawless chaos reminiscent of what made Pol Pot with his Cambodia.

That the newest, not survived all the horrors of Stalinism, the generation of 30-40-year-old does not want to hear about that, very sad. Therefore, every action of our society, which insists again and again was read “the GULAG Archipelago”, a monstrous document of those times is the effort beneficial. To create a future based on lies, impossible.

The reasons for this worship more or less obvious. The point — the advent of capitalism in our country. At the time I called and Russia is the Wild West. Is the West already, but still awfully wild, with all the habits inherited from the tsarist and Soviet autocracy. The invasion of the private ownership of the life of the Soviet people happened so instantaneously and unexpectedly so savagely that still it is not digested, will not fit in a normal, civilized form of life. Therefore, all our people were at a loss before a completely new reality, where the main law — you’re responsible for your own life. And this law have become willing to use the basest interests of the diverse segments of our society from top to bottom, from gangsters to senior officials.

We still can’t recover, how can we improve Russia so that she became enlightened and civilized country, focused on the best examples, invented by mankind. This confusion and lack of direction, clear leaders and new rules — it’s all mixed up, rolled over, tried to get off, and then came up reliable as it seemed, landmarks of the past: a steel hand, the king-priest, corrupt officers, but comes the master, he will judge us all…

— So, maybe it’s the genetic code of the Russian people?

Is not the genetic code. Genetics of the Russian people, of course, its there, but it defines its national character, what then is so wonderful expressed our great classics in literature. A powerful Russian national character, in all respects positive and based on eternal moral values. As for the slave component, the habit to focus on the master, the king-priest, is not a genetic code, and our history, from the time of the first kings. But it is becoming obsolete. Something similar were the people of Europe, who, thank God, reached the rules more human, and managed to bring them to public life. We also embarked on this road, but go backwards and not turn around in the right direction.

— Then about your genetic code, about the Korean part…

— When father was taken, I was not even two years. Neither my sister nor I had time to get acquainted with Korean relatives and even the community, which was already then in Moscow a lot. So the Korean part of my family did not participate in our sister education. But after father went down, soon went on his long journey and our mother — the wife of a traitor to the Motherland. She went to 8 years of imprisonment and exile, and all of our education took place in the circle of our Russian roots. There was such a clan (it now exists) the family of all saints. Our grandfather and grandmother, members of this clan, engaged in our upbringing, then we went to our aunts.

So, my sister had only the Russian environment, Russian culture. I a single word, a single sound in Korean do not know and do not know still. While in Korea I visited, but it’s already in the times of perestroika, even later, when ten days went to Seoul at the invitation of the local Pushkin house. Perhaps, and that exhausted my acquaintance with Korean culture. And when I was able to achieve rehabilitation of the father and mother, have any Korean relatives we met, but it never escalated into a closer relationship.

But in the restructuring, when everywhere denounced Stalin, the people believed in it. And in the 90s realized that they were deceived, those who were exposed. Many of them have seized power and began to fill their pockets. You have a claim to democratic community in this regard?

— I have no complaints. Otherwise builds up a picture of conscious deception: gathered some cheaters, who deliberately deceived all the rest. I categorically will never agree. We are talking about some natural process, including psychological and ideological. Nobody could rise above processes from above and tell where to go. I believe that Chubais, Gaidar, who really helped out the country in a very serious moment for her, could not foresee, that will result in a huge immediate privatization, which they did. But this seems to be necessary cramps during the birth of a new nation and a new society. They continue today, and we are their witnesses. You say: I could, but failed. And I said, managed as I could.


photo: From personal archive
In the country with the poet Vadim Zhuk, wife Lydia, artist Marina Kurczewski.

The dissent runs through the whole of your life — and in communications with parents, and with your first wife — the granddaughter of the repressed Marshal Yakir and daughter of a dissident Yakir. You participated in the “Chronicle of current events”, that is, he was an active dissident, however, until a certain time. How relevant today dissidence as a community challenge the authority?

— I call the dissident human rights movement that emerged in Soviet life in the 50-60-ies of the last century. This internal liberal opposition to the current Soviet regime was very multidimensional. But all of these movements had one goal — freedom of speech. The restructuring and it was achieved. First under Gorbachev and then absolutely won under Yeltsin. Now our state, where a very large role played by the security forces and the security services, trying to get back to the previous unanimity and unanimity, which, of course, will not be able to ever have.

— But you yourself were not radical, not came to the area in August, the 68-year…

Yeah, I wasn’t in the forefront of the movement. Then I have nothing to be proud of, because those who were in the forefront, expect for the title characters — real and untouched. My hat’s off to people like Tolya Marchenko, Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and those who are still alive, and God grant them many years of life, — Sergey Adamovich Kovalev, for example. I was not at the forefront, but rather in the rear, who did everything for the front.

— Thank God you repression against dissidents, the Brezhnev already has not been…

— A little exposed. I was dismissed in the 68th year of school for dissident activities. Fired permanently — and, moreover, was still a ban on my public speaking. But I was left what I wanted, work in theater and film. This was said aloud in the interview at the Lubyanka, when I asked: “what do you want to earn a living?” “Yes, but you have the theatre and cinema, we’re not going to interfere”. It was reasonable on their part, because work in theater and film and at the same time to be a dissident, to participate in the protests vowels was absolutely impossible. I stood before a choice: to be an author, a loner like Solzhenitsyn, Voinovich or Galic, or like doing, to participate in the creation of films and performances. I chose the latter, and it has excluded itself from public participation in dissident cases. Although he performed some unspoken order. I had to hide behind a pseudonym, which all knew, and the bosses in the first place. But alias has allowed me to allow.

— Once you become allowed, some radical dissidents did not consider it a betrayal on your part?

— In any way. Nobody threw a single twit in my direction, for which I’m grateful. I for this choice is not vinyl, because it was about life calling. I prefer one to the other quite naturally, but never in my life, it is not proud.

But, judging by your work in the movie, the wonderful songs, lyrics, your perception of the world — Sunny and positive?

— I prefer creative, positive attitude to life. I believe that it’s not just me — deeper. This kind of positivity is inherent in the nature of art in all times and among all peoples. I’m not going to indulge in a serious philosophical twists on this theme, and I’m not very strong in them. I find it easier to quote his song, which ends like this: “Earth is all one, for life is given to us. And the life we all have one, it is for the joy given. So, brother, let’s live, plant gardens, bear children, road system and sing a song. The whole thing behind you.”

— You put in a number of bards to whom belong Galich and Vysotsky. Were you familiar with them?

— With Vysotsky we were on “you”, but this does not mean anything. We are just one generation and simultaneously sprouted in the field of culture of Moscow as bards. I’m a little earlier, he later. Bulat Okudzhava — it’s still early. I knew them all. And Galicia was familiar, and with Bulat. Probably the last thing I knew Vysotsky. We were familiar nodding. I have absolutely nothing to remember our relationship with him, in addition to insulting for me details, when I have twice performed their works in the office of Yuri Lyubimov in the expectation that he will deliver. Vysotsky listened to 15 minutes and, having referred to employment, got up and left. This does not mean that he did not like what I read, but I don’t know how he reacted to this.

But Okudzhava were you close?

— Closer than anyone else. We even went on a tour of Denmark with joint performances. By Novella Matveyeva I became close in the last years of her life thanks to Dima Bykov, who have established for our correspondence; to a personal meeting is not reached, but we wrote each other the last three years. Galich, I participated in a conference on the bard song. But most often I saw Yuri Vizbor.

Without your written songs for the movie, now it’s impossible to imagine some movies. Were you present on set?

— I have a friend and teacher, the peers of the writers of the poems to music — Yuri Ryashentsev. Here he loves to take part in the process of creating a movie or play, goes to rehearsals, met with the actors, becomes their friend and comrade. I mostly work with composers and filmmakers, and at this stage my communication ends. I’m waiting for the product to be ready, and watch it on the way out. Not in the movie, in the theater. Come on the first runs, give advice, even when it is possible for something to fix. But the rehearsal was not present almost never. One day I came to her and realized that my advice listen with half an ear, and despite all my impulses, my rehearsals almost zero. And I waved at them and stopped walking. Sometimes Directors ask you that I do say something, nothing more.

— Igor Guberman accidentally your neighbor?

— Jerusalem — not a very large city. From me to Huberman on the car you can get 20 minutes, even though we live in different parts. In Jerusalem we see from time to time, and, as a rule, during the Christmas feast.

— Jewish or Russian?

— Christian, on the night of December 31 to January 1. Igor throws a little feast, and my wife is usually there. If you know him, I will soon be able to tell him you said Hello.

— Dina Rubina, too, somewhere nearby? You know her?

Not only familiar — we had a busy tour. I would see her at the presentation of the collection of the great Russian poet Igor Bialskie.

— Russian peace in Jerusalem alive?

Not only is he alive but very active, especially since there is someone to rely on. Though Vysotsky wrote: “There on a quarter the former our people…”, it is still slightly exaggerated.

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