Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 308–325 | Cite as

“Let the Little Children Come to Me”: (Anti-)Religious Films for Young Spectators of the Soviet and Post-Soviet Period

Original Paper


The article is a comparative analysis of three films focusing on anti-religious and religious propaganda (targeting both Orthodoxy and sectarianism) and featuring children among the main characters: The Miracle Worker (1960), Armageddon (1962) and Serafima’s Extraordinary Journey (2015). The three films feature a similar set of characters and artifacts which serve as the springboard for the unfolding of the individual plots. However, the techniques used in the characters’ portrayal are very different in each of the films, leading to contrasting outcomes. This article explores the way the characters are portrayed, including the use of discursive strategies and intertextual mechanisms, with special emphasis given to the propaganda characteristic of the different periods in the country’s history. It highlights the reversal of values between Soviet and post-Soviet societies, resulting in a drastic change in the didactic messages conveyed by cinema over these 50+ years.


Anti-religious propaganda Religious propaganda Soviet cinema Russian cinema 



The author would like to thank Father Valentin Ulyakhin for his sage counsel and support in the preparation of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Peoples’ Friendship University of RussiaMoscowRussia

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