The problem of hooliganism as further decay of soviet society
Несовершеннолетние or Adolescents. I came upon this movie accidentally while reading about past movies on a Russian cinema site.
Turns out it was a most viewed movie in USSR of 1977, around the times my father came from his native village into the city to study, so I wanted to see what it was like, though strangely I never heard about it nor ever watched it before, perhaps because it was replaced by later and more realistic Пацаны or Меня зовут Арлекино.
It speaks about the problem of the adolescent delinquency, its possible sources and solutions.
Starting with a return of two friends to their native town: Jenya from the army service, Kostya from jail after a drunken fight.
Jenya is suffering after finding out his girlfriend has married another person, while Kostya having trouble fitting into society.
There is given a reflection of youth hangouts - a dancing place, with hooligans fighting, drunks hanging near and carried away by volunteers (so called дружинники = drujinniki).
Jenya while receiving his documents in police department meets an adolescent gang, led by charismatic Gogol' (due to likeness to the writer Nikolay Gogol'), who failed to finish school due to bad behavior, which turned out were picking on his nephew by stealing his post stamp collection.
Curiously later turned out that the actor playing Gogol' later was converted to Christian faith and became a priest.
It explains why in the talk with the police mayor he did refer to cynicism and lack of ideals as his motivation, as well as having his life ruined because of not being admitted to university, because in soviet atheist state there lacked religion and fear of God, who commanded to not kill or steal, but society and police are not all-powerful and cannot fix everything.
Later we get another glimpse of these delinquent youth members, playing cards and being ordered to leave by old men, who hypocritically start playing domino instead, so they start roaming the streets and misbehaving, while being stopped by Jenya, warning them against picking on his nephew.
This leads to reaction from Gogol' who attacks him and Kostya with his gang at the disco; it is also revealed that Gogol' is in fact wearing a wig to fool the drunkards he attacked and robbed.
Another problem was that generally the parents of the delinquents, just as of those picked on by them, were missing, except one case, where the father was an alcoholic starting drunken conflicts in the family, while the mother had to work late, so his son attacked others out of envy and anger at his own bad family life.
The problem is in the soviet system, which intended to turn the state into an ant colony, with children to be raised by the state, while parents worked much.
But obviously God did not make us mindless ants, but needing healthy family, as well as better support which can only be given by God, since alcohol and society fail to solve all problems.
A proposed solution was typical of the soviet style, to re-educate the former delinquents or abused in a boxing section, so they can train, whether to let out their anger or defend themselves. However this has a potential problem, since many criminals can also train in boxing, martial arts, as many did, or just plain use a knife or guns to attack others.
So the ending despite trying to be optimistic does not seem credible, despite Gogol' being caught for his wrongdoing.
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