Jerry Carlson (CUNY, EE.UU.)
The Soviet film industry viewed cinematic adaptation of classic literature as a privileged road to the international marketplace. It protected them in some measure from the charge of exporting works explicitly shaped as propaganda. To reach a broad audience their repertoire expanded beyond Russian classics such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Chekhov to others, most commonly Shakespeare. Among the other important films to issue from this strategy was Don Quixote (1957) directed by Grigori Kosintzev. Released at the height of the Cold War, it is a prime example of a work pointed toward the Hispanic world, a world in play for influence by the political rivals of the time. My essay will explore how the "universal humanist classic" is structured by an underlying Marxist historiography that avoids being programmatic but supports a Soviet view of the world.