That’s all, folks! (weekly review)
By Dzhambulat Are
GROZNY, Chechnya - Chechen television will soon be showing cartoon characters giving talks about morality and culture. A decision has been taken to create the republic’s first animation studio, which will be located in the town of Gudermes, not far from Grozny.
The task of organizing the new enterprise has been assigned to Ramzan Ibuyev, managing director of the Put’ (Path) printing house, which specializes in the publication of religious books. Informing the public about his plans for future work, Ibuyev stressed that the studio’s output would concentrate mainly on providing material of a moral and religious nature addressed to the young.
“In our cartoons we will tell our young viewers about traditional Islam in a form that’s accessible to them. Young children learn through play, and that is the method we’ll try to follow,” Ibuyev explained in an interview for a local television channel.
The studio in Gudermes already has most of the technical requirements. The equipment has been bought, the premises are ready, and there are plans to purchase 3D hardware which the Chechen cartoonists claim is well up to Hollywood standards. In addition, they say that the studio will be one of the best in the North Caucasus (like everything else in the country).
Now for the details: professionals in the field must be found. Hitherto this has been the province of one self-taught animator, the Chechen actor and artist Khozh-Bauddi Israilov. From making friendly caricatures of his colleagues in the theatre world he eventually graduated to the task of adding Chechen-language soundtracks to Disney cartoons. However, this “dubbing” bore a very distant relationship to the process in its classical sense.
Khozh-Bauddi Israilov remained loyal to the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon series during the relative calm that prevailed in the republic after the first Chechen war. His cat's name was “Tsutsi”, and his mouse was called “Mutsi”. Israilov’s independent studio was known as “Tsutsi-Mutsi”. It was closed down by Chechen Islamists who were convinced that the images of people and animals, even such innocent ones, were Haram (forbidden).
And now the age of the professionals is at hand. “Tsutsi-Mutsi” has a serious rival.
When I began this article I vowed I would not write a word about Him, because He has been almost the sole protagonist of my previous weekly reviews.
But what if life’s unvarnished truth will not let me keep my word? According to the Chechen President’s press service, the Gudermes animation studio “will tell the story of the people who have brought glory to the Chechen nation in their deeds.” And who among us has brought glory to the nation? That’s right! Therefore, the cartoons produced in Chechnya will be about Him and His family. Particularly as the idea of creating an animation studio in Gudermes belongs to you know who.
Previous weekly reviews can be read at http://www.watchdog.cz/weekly.
(Translation by DM)