Unconfusedly but Separably: The 'Others' in Contemporary History of Russia (Russian TV Series of the 2000s and 2010s)


The so-called ’retromania’ in contemporary Russian culture includes a whole range of topics, such as bioenergetics and extrasensory or paranormal powers, which for a long time existed in the ’shadow’ of popular culture. This article focuses on one of the recent Russian TV shows called ’The Others’ (Drugie) directed by Olga Dobrova-Kulikova and shown on Channel One in January 2019. This TV series tells the story of people with paranormal abilities or psychic powers in the context of Russia’s contemporary history. The topic of ’the others’ in the series interlaces with another, equally underexplored topic – that of the Russian history in the second half of the twentieth and the early twenty-first century, including the post-Stalin period, Khrushchev Thaw, Brezhnev era, Perestroika and the post-Soviet period. At the core of the film’s plot lies the story of one family, more specifically, three generations of women. Thus, the progress of historical time in this TV series goes through the following three stages: the difficult and painful process of eradicating Stalin’s totalitarianism, which became fully possible only with the change of generations; the rough 1990s, which ended with the establishment of the rule of law and life going back to normal; the uncertain 2000s, when people had to balance between the law and criminality while striving to maintain the facade of normality.

Keywords: TV series The Others (Drugie), people with paranormal abilities, contemporary history, extirpation of the past

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