GENERICO.ruCultureKlim Poplavsky: “The main rule of a military correspondent is to stay alive”

Klim Poplavsky: “The main rule of a military correspondent is to stay alive”

MOSCOW, February 12, Yulia Zachetova. The Second International Documentary Film Festival “RT.Doc: Time of Heroes”, which will take place in Moscow on February 23-25, will open with the premiere of Klim Poplavsky's film “Military Correspondents-3: He Prays in the Language of God.” The son of the famous actress Yana Poplavskaya and director Sergei Ginzburg voluntarily went to the front in 2022 and since then has filmed more than one project about military operations and civilians in the Northern Military District zone. In an interview, Klim talked about how he chooses heroes for his paintings, about the work of military officers, and shared his opinion about draft dodgers and participants in the scandalous “naked party.”

— Klim, the hero of your new film – military correspondent Sargon Khadai . What country is he from? How did you end up at SVO?

— He is an Aramean by nationality. Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic. Sargon's great-grandfather was the Patriarch of Antioch – this is the Syriac Orthodox Church. Sargon reads the “Our Father” in the language in which the Lord spoke. Hence the title of the film “Military Correspondents-3: He Prays in the Language of God.” He was born in Moscow. His life was spent half in Syria, half in our capital, he studied at school both here and there. He is fluent in both Arabic and Russian. I was interested in how my colleague, a colorful person in all respects, was in a war zone, and how he broadcast what was happening to us as a huge part of the Arab world. Why does he do this and why. The film has answers to these questions. And of course, the Arab world is very interested in these events, because in their home the war was started by the same hands – Britain and the USA.

— How do you choose the characters in your films?

—I'm only looking for military officers who work on the front lines during battle. And you can count them on one hand.
“You also take risks on the front line.” Does training at the Special Forces Center help?
— Training at both the Special Forces Center and the Tactical Medicine Center at the front helps you survive every day. In general – the experience of attentiveness, concentration. Plus prayer. This is not an amusement park and not at all the place where a draft is written, and then you can rewrite it into a clean draft. This is a serious test, without subsequent work on mistakes and the opportunity to retake. Therefore, everything you know, know how to do and believe in should connect and work for your life.
— One of the heroes of your films said that on the front line the main thing is to obey the military.

– Yes, these are the words of Olya Kurlaeva. If the military says that “there’s no need to go there,” that means there’s no need, “we’re leaving,” that means we’re leaving. True, it happens that they don’t say anything, because this is not a kindergarten or a nursery, and there is no one to watch you separately. And you yourself must clearly understand when – stop, that’s it, it’s time to take the material home. So as not to become a burden to the guys. Because for them the primary thing is to complete the combat mission at all costs, and not to survive. This is the difference between fighters and war documentarians and correspondents. The main rule of a military correspondent and a military documentarian is to stay alive, because no one will do your material for you. You should make news, not become news. This, by the way, is a quote from Sargon Hadai from my film. Although he himself once “became news”: he was wounded in Syria.

— And the soldiers willingly make contact with military correspondents and documentarians ? Don't they consider you a burden?
— It’s easier for me than for military officers. I come and stay with the guys for a long time, I don’t ask them much, I just keep an eye on them. When an hour or two passes, they see that you don’t bother them, don’t hang around, do the same thing with them, sometimes help. Everything is very simple there, like in any other tough male team. It’s immediately clear who is lazy, who is shirking, who is a coward. And they get used to it, they just talk without noticing you. I don't need any more. My job is to look and give the viewer the opportunity to be there through my eyes.

— One of the heroes of your film “Our Shores”is a crest with the call sign Khokhol. How many of them are fighting on the side of Russia?
— I saw enough ethnic Ukrainians on our side. And the call sign Khokhol is not uncommon. It's not a matter of nationality. These are people to whom their parents gave Mayakovsky’s poems in childhood and explained what is good and what is bad. Guys who were well raised by their parents are fighting on our side.

— You said that sometimes you have to put the camera aside and apply the knowledge of tactical medicine from the courses. How often does this happen?

— Regularly. At the front, there is no such thing that you are only a documentarian or only a correspondent.
— In your projects you talk about heroes. What can you say to young guys who avoid the front not out of conviction, but out of animalistic, insurmountable fear?
“I haven’t met people who weren’t afraid at all.” I know a person whose call sign is Luntik. He really had a problem – insurmountable fear syndrome. He simply fell into a stupor. Then he was brought to the hospital, he became an amazing orderly. The entire department where he works adores him. Yes, he cannot be in a trench; this is not given to everyone. Therefore, if a person wants to help, but understands that he cannot run with a machine gun, he will find himself at the front. There is something to do there: turn the steering wheel, scrub the tiles in the hospital until your fingers are bloody, and also cook, carry, build. War is not only “forward, attack”, it is a huge team effort before the actual assault operation takes place. Victory is not forged only by the people who pull the trigger.

— Do you have any situation from the life of fighters or civilians in your memory so that you will never forget?

“I will forever remember the whole tragedy of civilians, this is the overall picture. Children who organize “patrols” in front-line and front-line cities stop the military in order to collect tribute from them for travel in the form of sweets. Can you imagine how it is now in Avdeevka, where civilians have not been evacuated! If there is hell on earth, it is there. Where do they get water and food? I cannot answer this question for myself. Drone photos clearly show civilians being taken to a coke plant. For what? To saw up the remains of the equipment there, so that peaceful people there can become human shields? Because there are battles ahead for this enterprise. There are so many stories when we pulled out old people after taking off their bulletproof vests. If they blow up planes with their prisoners of war, then the life of some civilian for them is not life at all.
— Klim, in one of the interviews you said that your worst enemy—< strong>Instasamka, because she sings the anthem of prostitution. What can you say about the participants of the “naked party”?
—I consider everyone like Instasamka to be my worst enemies. I don’t even want to talk about the poor “naked party people” – life itself, in my opinion, punishes them. People go naked in public places in the evenings. Well what can I say. Let life grind this humus. They are just fertilizer – fertilizer for our bright future.

— How do you feel about the idea of ​​depriving Makarevich*, Khamatova of the title “People’s Artist”?

—Yes, I can say the same about them. My friend, an amazing architect, was a fan of Boris Grebenshchikov* in his youth. And he said recently: “You know, it’s a shame that for so long I was mistaken, that these people were a guide for someone. It’s a shame that they didn’t open up right away. It’s just a pity for the time.” This is like betrayal of a large family, betrayal. It's a shame that so much time was wasted on them. But they punished themselves. They say that if the Lord wants to punish a person, he deprives him of his mind, and these people are simply insane.
For more information about the program and registration for the festival, visit the official website https://rtfestival.ru/. Admission is free.
* An individual performing the functions of a foreign agent in Russia.

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