Avdotya Smirnova: "I Felt That It Was Time For Me To Say What I Really Think"

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Avdotya Smirnova: "I Felt That It Was Time For Me To Say What I Really Think"
Avdotya Smirnova: "I Felt That It Was Time For Me To Say What I Really Think"

Video: Avdotya Smirnova: "I Felt That It Was Time For Me To Say What I Really Think"

Video: Avdotya Smirnova: "I Felt That It Was Time For Me To Say What I Really Think"
Video: История одного назначения | реж. Авдотья Смирнова | Драма 2023, June

At the MC's request, the editor-in-chief of Maxim magazine Alexander Malenkov met Avdotya.

Alexander Malenkov: Dunya, you are a director, screenwriter, writer, hosted the "School of Scandal" program - that is, you are clearly, as they say, "an intelligent woman." Do you feel yourself an intelligent woman?

Avdotya Smirnova: No, I can't say that. First of all, because I have met quite a few women who are much smarter than myself. Tatiana Nikitichna Tolstaya is certainly smarter than me. I was friends with the late Ksenia Yuryevna Ponomareva, who created the Kommersant publishing house and then ran Channel One. She was a woman of great intelligence. Elena Leonidovna Grigorenko, a great scientist with a very high Hirsch index - here she is an extremely intelligent person. I am always amazed when such women communicate with me! I believe that the only thing I can give them in response to the fact that they share the treasures of the mind with me is to cheer them up. Therefore, I am like a clown under the governor. I see a lot of limitations in my own brains. A rational, logical, systemic long construction is not given to me. I think rather in images and pictures. But about the mind, I have never had any complexes. I always knew that I was not stupid, and at the same time I always understood that there are people much smarter than me.

Do you think you get smarter over the years?

I am already at that age when it is rather stupid to set tasks on a cosmic scale. I know, for example, that I am not interested in reading philosophy, I perceive it only in the form of literature. I can read Nietzsche, Rozanov, but I cannot read Heidegger, I tried … Well, that means I will not read philosophy. But I enjoy reading more and more history books. Compared to where I started from, I'm obviously smarter.

Because such a fool as I was when I was young is not something you wish on the enemy!

I was selfish, completely ruthlessly offending people for the sake of some severity. And I didn't notice it at all. I was lying. And this is very strange! I was very deceitful in my youth, and then, somewhere after thirty, this ability was cut off. This is not to say that I never lie. But if I lie about some trifle, then I will suffer until I call and say: “You know, there, Alla Nikolaevna, I said that I was late because there was an accident on the road. There was no accident, and I was just getting around. " And Alla Nikolaevna will say: “What are you talking about, woman? What's wrong?"

In addition to your outstanding intellectual qualities, you are also a recognized beauty. Do you also have conflicting relationships with your own appearance?

I never thought I was pretty. And, I must say, I am very sorry about this, because when I see my young photographs, it turns out that, in general, I was very much even nothing. I suffered from terrible complexes for a long time. I have one aggravating circumstance. My mother, Natalya Vladimirovna Rudnaya, is an outstanding beauty, real, like Catherine Deneuve. I always understood this and did not even consider myself somewhere next to her. In addition, I lived with a curvature of the spine for many years until I had surgery five years ago. And these are defects in figure, gait, always aching back. In the end, I just stopped thinking about it. But when I see some of my unsuccessful photos, I console myself with the fact that two or three years will pass and it will seem to me: "God, how good I was at that moment!" It is psychologically difficult for a woman to grow old. But what can you do?

You can do plastic surgery

I am a supporter of the idea that old age should be neat. This is the minimum requirement that I place on myself. And not because I have a bad attitude towards improving my appearance. It is, on the contrary, wonderful when a woman knows how and loves to take care of herself. It's just that I'm deadly bored. I hope I have enough gunpowder to never get plastic surgery. But I cannot vouch for myself. Maybe I'll sleep in a couple of years and cut some monstrous bubbles on my face? But if I am not sleeping, I hope not.

I came up with the following formula for myself: there are three main female virtues - beauty, intelligence and kindness. But life shows that you can only choose two. You agree?

Yes, I agree. Agree. I choose, of course, intelligence and kindness in this triad. Certainly.

Have you ever met that all three were in one woman?

Beautiful, smart and kind? Ksyusha Rappoport.


Can't help but ask what you think of the Weinstein case, harassment and harassment?

Now, especially from our rather archaic society, this Hollywood scandal seems to be some kind of madness. But the fact is that humanity, or that part of it that goes through these changes in stages, always falls into the opposite extreme. It will settle down later. I am sure that we are witnessing the beginning of the formation of a new social contract in relations between the sexes. This is a rather difficult process, I do not think it will be done in ten years. As a rule, such processes take at least half a century.

Have you encountered male chauvinism and harassment yourself?

And how! This is actually very unpleasant. Just imagine, I came to work at the publishing house "Kommersant" in 1995. I have not seen such a concentration of smart, brilliant, talented men and women anywhere, just nowhere. And I did some pretty cool things there for a young woman: I was the director of the St. Petersburg bureau, then I became a production editor. I was 26 years old at the time, and I was proud to be here among equals. At the same time, quite calmly at the editorial board, I could hear: "A chicken is not a bird, a woman is not a man." It is unpleasant. And most importantly - it is not clear, but how to behave? Need a cute giggle, say: "Yes, yes, I agree"? Or say: "Misha, you are an asshole"? Which is what I did, in general.

In connection with the formation of a new social contract, it is not very clear to me how a man should now indicate his interest in a woman so as not to offend her?

Well, let's get it straight. In our society, this problem does not yet exist. That is, if you start courting an American woman, yes, it will be difficult for you. But it would have been difficult for you twenty years ago. I well remember how in 1992 in Los Angeles a friend, an artist, said to me: “I don't know to what extent you are a feminist. Won't you be offended if I open the door for you? " I looked at him like a ram at a new gate. I didn't even understand what he was talking about.

It's hard to imagine now, but in your youth you were a punk. Punks are supposed to be antisocial. Report back, please

I had such a friend - Dima Golubev. A terribly smart and terribly talented guy who made the "Stupid" group. Once Golubev called me and said: "Schultz …" And he called me "Schultz". "You know, I feel an urgent need to go now to Leningrad, to see one painting by Henryk Semiradsky in the Russian Museum." I say, "Excellent." He says, "Well, get out of the house and get dressed." I knew what "get dressed" meant. Because I had a denim skirt, which I cut off to slightly cover my panties, yellow tights that Tanya Drubich brought me from America, and black galoshes from the Skorokhod factory, bought for three rubles at the Tishinsky market. And Golubev and I went to Leningrad, went to the Russian Museum.

They began not to let us in there because of my appearance. And I still had half my head purple, half my head green. Golubev's mother painted me with ink and brilliant green.

This is 1987, there were no other colors. But still they broke through …

Didn't they even vandalize Semiradsky?

No, absolutely. And, therefore, we decided to go for a walk. Then we discovered that our whole gang of "Stupid" came after us. They were guarding us on Nevsky Prospect. We went to some pub, where we met real St. Petersburg punks, with whom we had a fight. On the way back we rode in a common carriage with discounted student tickets, while we had only two student tickets for eight people. Therefore, in Tver we were thrown off, the whole hop-company. We ended up at the station without a penny and went to steal bread in the station canteen. They stole bread, devoured it, and then returned to Moscow as hares by train.

Well, that counts, yes. Punk is first of all freedom. Tell me as a punk punk, what is happening with freedom now, in the 21st century? I have a feeling that it is taken from us piece by piece

Yes of course. It seems to me that in general now there is a process of breaking down all habitual structures. If you globalize this, look: for three thousand years, humanity has lived in the paradigm of Greek democracy. It was not that cloudless three thousand years, but nevertheless they were inside it. The construct appears to be ending. Look at America, the entire history of Trump's elections. How could this happen? But this is, in fact, the fruit of direct democracy.


For example, the press has banned swearing - another minus one freedom. How do you feel about the mat?

I think this is an absolute bias, because I love mate very much. This is a huge, most important layer of our language, extremely expressive and bright. I do not like it when these words are used as interjections. But how can you prohibit mate, for example, Yuz Aleshkovsky? This is absurd. Vasya Basta loves strong expressions and uses them endlessly charming. Sergey Vladimirovich Shnurov too.

Have you used mat in writing?

No, it was my conscious self-restraint. But I occasionally use strong expressions on Facebook. And I have to limit myself. Due to the fact that work in charity begins to impose additional restrictions on you. And if parents of children with autism, for whom I work, who are offended by my language, write to me, I have to reckon with this, otherwise I am a pig.

But you do enough for them to subordinate your lifestyle to it

If you could know! I am by nature not evil at all, but sarcastic. I love ridicule, I love a biting phrase and I know it well. Besides, here you were talking about some kind of my mind, I don't have a special mind, but I have a great sanity. Which, combined with a sense of humor, allows you to notice the absurdity, the absurdity of other people's intentions, first of all. So, my hands go up over the keyboard to pull out someone's quote and shandrah on it with all my might, but I hit myself on the hands and don't do it.

Because of your charity work?

Only. Exclusively.

I recently entered into a literary discussion and spat poison. And I immediately flew in presenting about the fact that this means that this benefactor allows herself such statements. And I learned a lesson from this.

If I am engaged in activities, part of which is the appeal to soften morals, I myself must show this kind disposition. Do you understand? The rehabilitation of the disability that we experienced did not affect the mental disabled. These are people with Down syndrome, with autism. They continue to be repressed, these children and their parents are driven from the playgrounds, not accepted into kindergartens, they are not allowed to go to school, but demand that there be only home education. Change can be achieved only by one - softening of morals. We have been looking for a very long time what people respond to. And it turned out that people do not respond when they show a child with special needs - this is not mine. You need to show parents who are exactly the same as you.

Your new film, The Story of a Purpose, is also a call to soften morals. Why did you suddenly turn to the real history of the 19th century, and even with Leo Tolstoy as one of the heroes?

In 2015, my family and I went on vacation to Kamchatka. And there I read the book of Pavel Basinsky "Saint against the Lion". And there was the chapter “Saving Private Shabunin,” three pages that shocked me to such an extent that I could not read further. Shocked by their incredible modernity. This is a well-known story. In 1866, the 65th Moscow Infantry Regiment was located near Yasnaya Polyana. In one of the mouths of this regiment, a clerk hit the captain in the face. He was to be tried by a court-martial, he faced the death penalty. One of the officers of this regiment, who knew Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, told him this story and persuaded him to be the lawyer of the clerk Shabunin at the trial. Tolstoy acted as a lawyer …


Let's not tell everything. What is the modernity of this story?

The fact that we can not make a choice: law or justice. What's more important? Justice or mercy - which is more important? I do not think that this dichotomy is exclusively national, it is stage by stage. And now we cannot pass this stage in any way.

It seems to me that this is an eternal theme

But we have been skidding on it since the 19th century. The world is moving towards a softening of the law, this is how its evolution takes place. And we have toughening, the triumph of formality. Dima Yakovlev's law, Yarovaya's law - we again fell into the paradigm of tightening the law. If I had read this story in 1998 or even in 2002, it would not have touched me as much as it has touched me now.

This is so different from what you've filmed before

My former paintings are, so to speak, small girlish handicrafts, but then I felt that it was time for me to say what I really think. The question of what a person can, what a person cannot. In 2011, when I was doing Two Days, I found it funny. In 2012, when I was making Cococo, I was funny, but already gloomy. Now I'm not funny. And if I start making a comedy, I will not succeed.

In your films, I see a seemingly cross-cutting idea of mesalliance, the clash of the intelligentsia with the authorities, then with the people. Your personal story is also from this series. How did you manage to marry, are we not afraid of this word, Chubais?

I have told this story a thousand times, but for some reason no one believes in it. We have known each other for a long time, back in 2003 I worked in a speechwriting group at Chubais. Then they began to be friends, then to be friends. You see, I was very interested in politics while she was. In general, I believe that there is only one activity in the world that is more interesting than cinema. This is politics. And it was just very interesting for me to work there, very, very very direct. In general, due to my irrepressible curiosity, I was familiar with people from big business and people from politics. And I knew for sure that these people were not from Mars. These are not alien beings abandoned to us.

Yes? And the feeling is just that

These are absolutely our compatriots. And they had the key on a string from the apartment while their parents were at work. And in kindergarten they put on tights, and on top - shorts. Do you understand? Therefore, I had no idea that this was some kind of, so to speak, different breed of people.

What is your husband like then?


What is my husband? Firstly, he is very shy. Secondly, very empathic. He experiences the suffering of others very sharply and painfully, more painful than me. He is, in general, a male chauvinist, but in the most flattering sense for women.

That is, he believes that women are already beautiful floral creatures, and if a woman still does something and succeeds, then this makes an absolutely deafening impression on him. Here. He is very devoted. Who are his friends? Those from school and college.

How does he survive then there, in this stratosphere?

Then I will tell you in what way he is not at all like us. He does not like and does not respect reflection. It's not that he doesn't analyze errors. He even analyzes them, but he does not respect powerless self-digging and all this vasisual-lohankin. Now he doesn't look like that. People in our circle tend to worry when we are unfairly accused of something, and run to make excuses. He absolutely does not have it. That is, do what you must, and come what may. Then … I really love my homeland, but this cannot be compared with him absolutely. He is a patriot with all the idiocy of patriotism, I would say. Do you understand?

It depends on what you mean by homeland. In our time, a lot of unnecessary meanings have been piled up there

Well, I'll explain to you. He, as I sometimes say, is a Soviet man, as he should have been. Favorite poet Vysotsky, favorite writer Shukshin. I barely won the unequal fight with his love of bardic song. I still transplanted him to Russian rock. He believes that the best sea is the Laptev Sea. That there is no more beautiful place than on the Kola Peninsula. All the time he poisoned our travels with phrases: “Are these volcanoes? There are volcanoes in Kamchatka … Are they geysers? There are geysers in Kamchatka!.. But are they really waterfalls? Here in Kamchatka … "Finally I prayed:" Take me to this Kamchatka already. " It turned out that he was absolutely right. The concentration of beauty in Kamchatka is incomparable with anything …

Dunya, nevertheless, I am sure that a portion of condemnations came to you from comrades in the intelligentsia after this alliance

Well, naturally. But what about?

Because rapprochement with the sovereign, with the state is a controversial topic. And there everyone has boundaries. Where is this border between you? Can I borrow money from the state for creativity?

Everyone can, I can't. Because I'm his wife.

Would you accept the order from Putin's hands?

I would.

Would you become a confidant?


Well, they groped the border, thank God

I'll tell you this: a person who is systematically involved in charity has a very shaky border. Each of us has to step on the throat of our own song, pride and reputation. You are faced with a choice: your reputation or a real opportunity to get a difficult and serious business off the ground. Which can change the lives of other people and which, perhaps, will live when you are not in the world along with your reputation. Do you understand? When I was told that there was an opportunity to ask the president questions regarding autism on a direct line, I did not even have a second thought. I ran there, lifting all the crinolines. That was two years ago, and the trail of this effect is still there.


That is, this whole difficult path is also strewn with compromises

Of course! Actually, I believe that he was bequeathed to us by our all, Alexander Sergeevich. Because through the lips of Pyotr Andreevich Grinev in "The Captain's Daughter" it is said that the most important and best changes are those that come from what? From softening of morals. And that's a compromise path, actually. Working in charity, you must inevitably communicate with the state. And then a world of amazing discoveries awaits you. Suddenly it will be revealed that there will be ten officials completely indifferent, and then you will meet some hopeless-looking aunt with a halya, who will suddenly become imbued and start to help you terribly. Each of us had it not once, not twice, but one hundred and forty-two.

You have realized in all respects - human, professional, female. You are happy?

Happiness is an ecstatic state, it is impossible to be in it constantly. It's like an orgasm is a wonderful thing, but if it doesn't stop, it can turn into agony. I am happy quite often. And I am unhappy. In my youth, I was deafeningly unhappy. But it seems to me that only a person who is busy with himself is deafeningly unhappy. In this sense, I am much, much happier than when I was young. But to say that I am a happy person?.. I am incredibly lucky in my life. Lucky for the people around me. And, of course, I can't help but feel delight and gratitude to the one who gave me this.

And who was it, I wonder?

I am a believer, therefore, as you understand, I have no such question.

Interview: Alexander Malenkov

Photo: Sasha Sugar

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