Soviet animation had traditionally strong ties with works of literature and folklore. Russian Media Subtitles group recently presented a translation of Yulian Kalisher’s stop motion cartoon Words of Wisdom (aka Golden Words, Золотые слова) based on stories by Mikhail Zoshchenko. (Update: YT purged the video with translation, so no English subtitles are available). Zoshchenko, immensely popular in the 1920-1930s, was later harshly criticized by Stalin’s officials and died in poverty. At first glance, it’s just a story based on childhood anecdote about two children, Liola and Min’ka, who are present at the dinner with their parents and other grown-ups, including their father’s boss. Apparently, there is a socialization issue of smart but young kids who try to fit into the adult world. The “golden words” of this story are simple: one must always take into consideration changes in the environment. Kids must learn when one must remain silent, and when one should say something. This has additional meaning for a Soviet intelligent. The story was written in the late 1930s. During Soviet times many people had to choose wisely when and what they could say. To a degree, these golden words became mottos of many Soviet artists. Film features creatively made puppets and skillful visual connection of various stories.
Words of Wisdom (Золотые слова) 1989.
Produced by Julian Kalisher