Saturday, 10 December 2011

Firing Range




Remember this? well I've watched a few more in my off hours and I think I've found a new favourite.

Its name translates to Firing Range, and was made in 1977 by Anatoly Petrov. Unlike other Soviet era animations this one didn't cut corners, in fact the animation style (Photographica) the characters particularly there faces look almost life like. Remember that this was all done by hand as this was several years before computers started to be used in animation anywhere in the world. It won the First Prize Yerevan, USSR in 1978 and the Official Selection of Oberhausen, Germany in 1979.

The plot is about a scientist whose built a new super weapon, a tank that can read minds. Hes developing it for some Generals of an unnamed nation (its possible that the Russian dialogue does name the country and the subtitles thought it more politic to leave it out but I don't know) they mention losing colonies and "Blacks" burning there tanks so they could be either European or South African, or a veiled reference to either.

Without giving away too much the Tank responds to fear and hatred and can defend itself from aggression. The film is an anti war film -yes really contrary to the Cold War myth of thousands of T-72's revving up in East Germany just waiting to attack the USSR was very keen on avoiding conflict, and its films and writings reflected that- lets just say the greedy warmongering Generals will find there new toy to be everything they wanted and more.

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