Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Glasnost Film Festival, No. 12

  • Are You Going to the Ball? Tomorrow Is a Holiday
  • Rating: ****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $59.95 Series (public): $575.00
  • Date: Copyright 1987. Released 1990.
  • Descriptors: Sports. Soviet Union - Social life and customs. Labor. Gymnastics.
  • Production Information: Live action, Film transfer. Produced by Nikolai Bespalov (Tomorrow), Nadezhda Khovorova (Ball). Color. Russian. Subtitled . 29, 19 min.
  • Available from: The Video Project 5332 College Ave., Ste. 101 Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-9050, (800) 4-PLANET
  • Cataloging: ||Soviet Union - Social conditions||Sports - Soviet Union
  • Print Entry #: 1:1926
  • Reviewer: Sydney Chambers

    Program 12 of the Glasnost Film Festival series consists of two documentaries, each running less than 30 minutes, and each highlighting an aspect of contemporary Soviet life and culture and providing an opportunity to see the genuine living and working conditions of Soviet women. The first, Are You Going to the Ball?, focusing on women's gymnastics, strips the glamour from the Soviet athletic system; the second, Tomorrow Is a Holiday, shows the life of the workers at a Ukraine chicken farm and processing plant.

    Are You Going to the Ball? addresses a topic of concern shared by US viewers: the overtraining of young children for sports and artistic activities, which results in a tremendous cost to the individual athletes in lost childhood, delayed emotional maturity, and long-term physical problems caused by muscle overuse or injury. Viewers old enough to remember Olga Korbut at the 1972 Munich Olympics will be fascinated to see her and other Soviet gymnasts of the same era reminiscing in 1987 about their glory days and their quality of life since. Young gymnasts of today speak about their own involvement in the sport and their hopes and dreams for adult life.

    Tomorrow Is a Holiday documents the living and working conditions of women working at a chicken farm and processing plant. Pressed to work faster, produce more, and increase the plant's profits, in their off-hours the women endure cramped living conditions, only intermittent hot water, isolation from cultural support and enervating boredom, echoing the conditions of some working women in the United States. Although official Soviet policy toward business enterprises has changed in the last five years, the viewer sees that this change is meeting resistance at the local level and trickling very slowly (if at all) down to the workers.

    Both films are subtitled in English. The subtitles are clearly visible and displayed at a speed comfortable for reading. However, often in both films the subtitles do not translate all of the spoken words. This is particularly noticeable during choir practice scenes in Tomorrow Is a Holiday. The impact of the interviews with older gymnasts in Are You Going to the Ball? would have been facilitated for US audiences by on-screen identification of each athlete. The stark lives of the chicken-plant workers resonates in the utilitarian black-and-white images of Tomorrow Is a Holiday.

    These two adult-level documentaries explore facets of Soviet culture and offer a more honest and critical view than has previously been available. Although these films do not do so, the viewer can easily draw parallels to similar situations in the United States. Although probably not of general interest, these programs might be recommended for a wide variety of specific types of audiences, particularly those interested in working conditions, the status of women, athletics, or the Soviet Union.

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