This is one of many perestroika period movies, that are somehow still interesting to watch and analyze even now. They are often identified by the gray colors, usually being somewhat depressing and socially conscious, where the old soviet communist ways are crashing down under the new capitalistic and individualistic ways. The movie starts with a group of angst-filled working class youths trying to force their own justice by violence, but end getting caught by police. One of them, Sergei Maximov aka Max, who didn't personally attack, narrowly escapes jail.
An older teacher is taken by an ambulance with a heart attack, after reading a newspaper article criticizing her old inflexible ways. A very young female teacher comes to replace her. Another symbol of old soviets ideals dying off.
The new teacher discovers a separation by wealth in the class, which was unusual for 1988, and was generally suppressed during earlier soviet times, when past school movies usually had more united classes. She sides with the pupils she seems to understand the most - that is komsomol (communist youth) activists and working class youths, who uncover that the old teacher didn't put higher marks to students of richer more-privileged parents. They attempt to portray the angst-y looking Sergei "Max", mentioned before, as being basically "our good guy". It's not surprising seeing how most soviet literature portrayed people from the lower classes, as being better and some sort of "communist nobility and saints" by heritage, which was probably a reversal and reaction against the Russian empire undeserved nobility privileges.
In comparison there are the groups of richer kids, with money and parents coming from high political positions (nomenklatura). They are shown as occasionally more intellectual, but more often life wasters on parties (the break dance scene is weird though), sensual immoral pleasures, and basically being rich spoiled brats. It is revealed, that one of them, Rudnev, used his journalist friend to write the article, as revenge against the old teacher for low marks, which endangered his admission into the university.
This leads to the conflict and exposure of Rudnev as a nasty cowardly intelligent in an attempt to find justice, similar to comrade courts in old soviet movies. But in this case, it fails; by 1988, the system has changed, and the old-style soviet ideals have lost, the justice-seekers are generally ignored and shut down, so Max leaves the school in protest.
CONCLUSION: It seems this movie was the final counter-offensive propaganda by old-line soviet idealists, trying to reach to their target audience - komsomol and poor disaffected working class youth, to fight against moral decay and the transgressors against the cult-like religion of soviet ideals. It is somewhat similar to 1987's Меня зовут Арлекино (My name is Harlequin), or even 1973 Кортик (The Dirk).
Of course, it's sinful and unchristian to use lies to force honest teachers out like Rudnev did, but the lack of the scenes with the exact behavior and school abilities of both the old teacher and Rudnev, made it seem more like one-sided propaganda.
In general, while i didn't take sympathy in the "bad intelligent" Rudnev, nor did Max and his company appeal to me, on learning of the hypocrisies and violence of soviet communist doctrine, also Max's gang ties seemed shady. Over the time, some kids like these have morphed into violent skinheads, neo-Nazis and football gang members, who aren't much different from early Bolsheviks.
This is an infinite cycle of exploitation and revenge, which can only be broken by Lord Jesus Christ's example and teachings of "Love God with all your being and Love your neighbours and even enemies". God gave us the freedom of choice in life, and communism and class exploitation are just two opposing examples of going against God's commands. Love, justice, truth and peace are the things that Jesus Christ brought from His Father God already two thousand years ago - so communists cannot claim they were more moral, they just borrowed some Christian ideals, but sinned in ways such as murder, hate, pride, hypocrisy, rejection of Christ, the same thing with capitalists - greed, exploitation, immorality, etc.
It's interesting, how ungodly human efforts fail, basically USSR was founded on violence and rejection of God by angry lower classes guided by godless arrogant international socialists and utopians, who overthrew the Russian empire with nobility, some capitalists, along with the Christian church, for being exploiters. They proclaimed that by violence and atheism, they will build a better system and will live in a communist utopia of brotherhood and material comfort...that is, as they claimed, right after they hang the remaining evil capitalists of the world and will force everyone to accept "this new brotherhood". But how can you create something good by doing evil first? As Lord Jesus Christ taught "Whoever has ears, let them hear".
This film deals with the obvious results of USSR, as it's written in the Bible:
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7)
The soviet communists had themselves become the hypocrites and exploiters they despised and fought against, and spawned the seeds of their own destruction. I accept neither their side, nor the one of capitalists/individualists - both enslave people whether for a utopia founded by hatred and violence, or to their basic desires and consumerism. God promised to establish His own Kingdom of truth and justice over the whole earth (Daniel 7:27), i believe that God is perfect and can do so, but humans due to being imperfect, can never fulfill their promises, no matter how pleasant sounding (Proverbs 14:12).
I thank God for guiding me away from both these extremes, onto the narrow way of His Son Lord Jesus Christ for the freedom from past pride, hypocrisy and slavery of immoral sin, onto the salvation of my soul by God's grace in His Kingdom of Heaven.
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