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Karen Shakhnazarov’s “White Tiger”nominated for Oscar

Karen Shakhnazarov’s “White Tiger”nominated for Oscar

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russian-Armenian filmmaker Karen Shakhnazarov’s “White Tiger” has been nominated for an Oscar from Russia in the “best foreign language film” category, chairman of Russia's national Oscar committee Vladimir Menshov said.

According to Russia Profile.org, Shakhnazarov discovered a new perception in White Tiger, which was the inspiration behind his decision to make a war film not long before his 60th birthday, in the novel Tankman by Ilya Boyashov, on which this film is based. The main character, tank driver Ivan Naidenov receives severe burns in a battle with a German tank, the White Tiger. His 90% burns miraculously heal quickly and the hero, who has lost all memory of his past, develops new amazing abilities: he can now talk to tanks, which tell him their stories and ask him to help them fight the White Tiger. The White Tiger is a mystic incarnation of the German spirit, the Nazis’ conviction in the legitimacy of their actions.

The director compares the struggle between man and machine with the confrontation between man and whale in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Like nature, war is beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Shakhnazarov skillfully succeeds in bringing this symbolic confrontation to the screen. There is an obvious reference to Nietzsche’s “blonde beast” when the White Tiger’s appearance on the screen is accompanied by the music of Richard Wagner. A misinterpretation of the philosophical genius’s idea lay at the core of the fascist ideology of racial superiority. Nietzsche’s “beast of prey” makes its appearance in the film as the ghost tank. It is this same “blond beast avidly prowling round in its lust for loot and victory. This hidden centre needs release from time to time: the beast must come out again, must go back into the wilderness.” In the final episode, the protagonist announces he will stay alert even though the war is over because the beast is still out there, laying low and waiting for its time to reveal itself.

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