Valery Todorovsky: “Someone tried to change me all my life” | Person | Culture

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“I am not inclined to blame movies and books for any problems. Each person has a choice: he chooses which movie to watch, which books to read and which sites on the Internet to sit on, “- said in an interview with” AiF ” director Valery Todorovsky, whose thriller “Hypnosis” was recently released nationwide.

Didn’t succumb to hypnosis

Valentina Oberemko, “AiF”: – Valery Petrovich, you always made films about real life and about the people in it. And then suddenly – hypnosis! Why?

Valery Todorovsky: – Once in my childhood I ended up in the laboratory of the professor’s hypnologist Vladimira Raykova, a very famous person in Moscow. I then had a mild form of claustrophobia, I was scared of confined spaces, I was scared to ride in an elevator or to be alone at home. So my mother took me to a hypnosis session. At first, Raikov tried to treat me. Then it turned out that I do not give in: not all people are hypnotizable. For example, I turned out to be unsuitable for this and regretted it. It seemed to me that if I was hypnotized, I could achieve something special.

But I have seen people who are very susceptible to hypnosis. This is amazing! And then we became friends with the professor, I began to periodically come to his classes. I watched how he works, how he hypnotizes people. These meetings made a huge impression on me, which remained for many years. Somehow I remembered this story and realized that I wanted to make a film about it. But the film is not about me, but about my observations of the world, about trying to globally change, remake people, rule. After all, our life consists of manipulation, manipulation, endless attempts to influence each other, attempts to make a person see reality the way others want.

A question for everyone: is he personally ready, you or I to be manipulated? And to what extent are we ready to be manipulated? I try to be as low as possible to manipulation, because I am sure that no one ever needs to rule. All my adult life, someone has tried to penetrate my brains and change me. These were the Soviet government, kindergarten, school, system. And in modern reality there have also been such attempts. Where are the boundaries, where you can climb, and where you can’t? And where are the boundaries in which we are, the real us, and where does the influence on us begin, the erosion of our identity? The problem is that the vast majority of people do not resist attempts to impose other people’s opinions on them. On the contrary, they happily and willingly go with the flow and even ask fate to have someone who will give them a new reality, tell them how to think, how to live and how to understand this world. Some live like birds without noticing anything. They are adults, but small, they never grew up.

And a person who begins to think strongly about how the world works immediately becomes unhappy. So often, in order to be happy, you need to try to think and notice less.

– Perhaps a modern person lives a huge part of the time in virtual reality, in an illusory world, so he never grows up?

– I do not think that our today’s world is illusory, it is quite a real world. Another question is that sometimes they try to impose on us someone’s picture of the world, to convince us that our personal picture is illusory. All my life I have been trying to listen to myself, trust myself and not others, in order to distinguish illusion from reality.

– But still our society has become more childish?

– I think yes. This is due to the desire of people to live comfortably, hiding in their shells. By displacing this reality, a person finds harmony for himself, but this harmony is artificial, false. Yes, he is happy in this shell of his, but this happiness can collapse at any moment. In addition, sometimes such happiness can border on idiocy.

Proust and “Three little pigs”

– It used to be said that 20-year-olds are very infantile, now 30-40-year-olds are called infantile. Why?

– Probably because less and less a person is required to make independent decisions. When you find yourself in a world where you just have to follow certain rules, follow the paths drawn by someone, you remain a child even at 40 years old. A person grows up at the moment when he begins to make decisions, most often – hard, not always happy, sometimes unpopular, after which he only gets worse.

– When did you mature?

– I think I grew up pretty early. I traveled a lot with my parents, we moved from one city to another. I moved from one school to another. At the age of 10, I had to live in a boarding school for a whole year, and this is the place where you grow up quickly. So by the age of 12-13, I was not an infantile child.

– Don’t you think that culture has “had a hand” in people becoming infantile?

– No, everyone has a choice: which movie to watch, which books to read, which sites on the Internet to sit on. Therefore, when they tell me that this film spoils people, I do not believe it. In the same way, I do not believe that a film can lift someone or open the door to a new life. There is simply a universal human desire to strain less. After all, which book to read is also a decision. A person decides for himself whether to read Marcel Proust or Three Little Pigs. If he wants to read The Three Little Pigs until old age, he will live this primitive life.

– You said that nobody should ever be ruled. Maybe you still need to correct such infantile thinking?

– There is only one question: who will take the courage? Who is the person who can be entrusted with such an occupation? I wouldn’t do that.

Directed by Andrey Konchalovsky.

– And how do you try to educate your children so that they are not infantile? As far as I know, Andrei Konchalovsky forbade children to watch TV or use gadgets.

– Firstly, due to lack of time, I did not have time to raise my children, and secondly, I almost never forbade them anything. I’m the kind of parent who thinks that anything forbidden becomes very attractive over time. I have two children already quite adults, it is too late to tell them and forbid something. And my youngest daughter Zoya, who is 11 years old, watches everything, reads, has access to absolutely everything. And, you know, while everything is in order with her, with her understanding – what is good, what is bad, what is allowed, what is not.

– The main character of your film “Hypnosis” is a teenage boy: a difficult age for both children and parents. Was this time difficult for you?

– I think I was a fairly easy teenager, without an outrageous heavy protest – there was simply no reason for him. My parents were lucky with me – and I was with them, I did not become a big problem for them. I went through the teenage years of my children quite calmly. I always tried to be friends with them and not educate them too much. Maybe that’s why they didn’t have a severe transitional crisis.

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