New Russian SF Film in production: Strugatskys' The Inhabited Island
The global success of Russia's Nightwatch and Daywatch films may be leading to a renaissance of fantasy/science-fiction movie projects in that country. Now being filmed in Russia, Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's The Inhabited Island, a.k.a. Prisoners of Power, scheduled for release in January 2009.
From the Wiki:
Prisoners of Power also known as Inhabited Island (Russian: Обитаемый остров, IPA:[obɪ'taʲemɨj 'ostrof]) is a science fiction novel written by Soviet authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. It was written in 1969 and originally published in 1971, the English translation was released in 1977. The protagonist is a young adventurer from Earth — Maxim Kammerer who gets stranded on an unknown planet Saraksh.
The story describes the adventures of Maxim Kammerer. Kammerer is an amateur space explorer from Earth. This occupation is not considered serious and Kamerer is regarded as a failure by his friends and relatives. The novel starts when Kammerer accidentally discovers an unexplored planet Saraksh inhabited by a humanoid race. The level of technological development on the planet is similar to mid-20-eith century Earth. Recently, the planet had a nuclear and conventional war and the predicament of the population is dire. When Kammerer lands, the natives mistake his spaceship for a weapon and destroy it.
At first, Kammerer does not take his situation seriously. He imagines himself a Robinson Crusoe stranded on an island inhabited by primitive but friendly natives. He is looking forward to establishing contact and befriending the population of the planet. However, the reality turns out to be far from glamorous. Kammerer finds himself in the capital of a totalitarian state, perpetually at war with its neighbors. The population is governed by the oligarchy of Unknown Fathers through brutal police and military repression. The city is grim and polluted. Ordinary populace leads the life of privation and misery. What goes on around Kammerer does not make sense to him, since his own society is free from war, crime and material shortages.
Eventually, it is revealed that to maintain the loyalty of the population, the Fathers employ mind control broadcasts. The broadcast towers pepper the landscape of the country. The mind-altering capabilities of the towers are kept secret, they are disguised as ballistic missile defense installations. Constant broadcasts suppress the ability to evaluate information critically, hence making the omnipresent regime propaganda much more effective. In addition, twice a day, intense broadcasts relieve mental stress caused by the disconnect between the propaganda and the observed reality by inducing an outburst of blinding enthusiasm.
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