Astronomy Class

  1. Lemma
  2. Урок астрономии
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ecumenism and dialogue > Education - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Materialism/Idealism - Culture and national identities - Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 19-10-2018
  7. Ткачев, Андрей [Author]. Урок астрономии
  8. Православие.Ru
  9. astronomy - Soviet Union - Higher Education - Russian Orthodoxy - historical materialism - Capitalism - consumerism
  10. Click Here
    1. <p>Ткачёв, Андрей Юрьевич (2015). Урок астрономии. <em>Православие.Ru.</em> Retrieved from: <a href=""></a> </p>
    1. The text discusses a popular Soviet science short film titled “Astronomy Class” (1974, 18 min) by filmmaker Semen Reitburt. The film, which is part documentary, part fiction, is a dialogue between two teenagers talking about the universe as they gaze at the open night sky. The boy in the film is in love with science and passionate about telling the girl what he knows about the theory of relativity and other scientific facts. The girl listens to him but is driven away by her boyfriend on a bike at the end of the film.

      The author writes with warmth about the period when the film was released. At the time, the Soviet general public had a genuine interest in modern science. School graduates applied to math and physics university departments en masse. For the author, 1970s USSR was bubbling with people trying to understand the secrets of the universe and this feeling was equivalent to a religious feeling. The author compares university professors of science of the 1970s to the starets – religious elders of the past. In this perspective the boy in the film is more of a priest than a science student.

      The author suggests that in the Soviet Union there was a subconscious curiosity toward big questions that were close to religious inquiries. He argues that currently Russia has drowned in capitalist consumerism and lacks this kind of curiosity. He adds that we need films such as “Astronomy Class” because they encourage people to look far into the sky, and that these films went beyond official Marxist historical materialism.