Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts

2013 ,    »  -   7 Comments
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5.79
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Ratings: 5.79/10 from 28 users.
Storyline
Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts

In the aftermath of two wars, Chechnya is haunted by memories of great desolation and turmoil. But today, it's become a visiting ground for celebrities. A bustling haven for growing infrastructure, and home to one of the largest mosques in Russia. The documentary Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts addresses this dichotomy. Throughout the film, we witness a Chechnyan Republic in search of a new identity in the 21st century, but determined to remain grounded in the traditions on which it was founded.

In the midst of what was once a region of great conflict and ruins, a five-star hotel plays host to internationally-known figures like action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Creative expression is indulged in a state-of-the-art music recording studio. Dancers dutifully rehearse their routines for an upcoming festival. The Firdaws fashion house offers extravagant evening gowns and wedding dresses, and gains the attention of upscale female clientele from around the world.

Each of these enterprises remain seeped in the values and religious customs of the Chechnyan people. In accordance with Islamic faith, the dancers are not permitted to touch or look into the eyes of their partners. Adorned by elaborate headwear, the fashions are encrusted with valuable stones made of diamonds, silver and gold, and serve as clever hybrids between the traditional and modern.

Beneath this glitzy facade lies a more subdued and somber reality. We see swarms of students who devote their young lives to a rigorous study of the Quran, and hear one of these children warn non-believers of their assured path to Hell.

Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts beautifully intercuts between these two divides in order to illustrate a region in transition.

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7 Comments / User Reviews

  1. martin

    indoctrination on an industrial scale - "give me a child of 12 years old and I will make him/her mine for life" - the prime of miss jean Brodie.
    It's very unlikely but perhaps equip the kids with, along-side the Koran a copy of the 'Origin of Species' and let them make their own minds up - that's if it isn't too late.

  2. Sharon

    People across the globe can talk about "tradition" all they want but behind closed doors, in the privacy of one's own home or traveling abroad these traditionalists will do what people do. The more religious the more likely "rules" are being broken and abusiveness becomes pervasive. It doesn't matter the religion. Sadly, religion is not seen as developing a relationship with God but in controlling people. I mean if you didn't control people there would be war, pandemonium, chaos, greed, cruelty...oh wait...you CAN'T control people. You can only love them into community. Unfortunately, most institutions seek short term goals by threatening others into submission, either by withholding love and/or resources. It works for awhile then...it doesn't. Then here we go round and round the Merry-Go-Round - again.

  3. B4

    First I have to say I'm glad not many people have watched this 'documentary' and it only lasts 26mins because the amount of misinformation coupled with the tone in which it is conveyed is very disturbing. To mention a few:

    1. [3:45] The Arabic word 'Dhikr' to anyone who knows Arabic or could use an Arabic dictionary means remembrance and in reference to God means remembering God which has no time constraints and hence could be done at anytime or place.

    2. [3:53] Again the term Haafiz used to refer to one who memorizes the Quran by heart and not an Islamic scholar(Aalim).

    3. [5:00] Can't say that is what the kid said for sure but if he said that then who ever told him that is wrong. People are admitted into heaven based primarily on their believe in the oneness of God and then their actions (weighed between good and bad). Research encouraged if one intends to find out more.

    4. [15:30] Dancing with with the opposite gender in its entirety is not even allowed unless with one's wife, daughters, sisters, paternal or maternal aunts(/uncles) {in the case of a male and vice versa for a female}. The dance shown(with its entire rules) only has to do with their customs and traditions and nothing else.

    5. [17:00] Presumably this is just the wife's personal choice or for whatever reason not being at dinning table and it is extremely outrageous to say that because she and her 'grown-up' daughter are of a certain age, they cannot eat on the same table. Doesn't need to be mentioned as they already have kids together and I can't imagine that happening if they can't come close to each other.

    These are just a few of the plain fallacies presented in this film and one should wonder why or to what benefit the person/people behind this film would stoop down to such a level. Would be absolutely disgraceful if this was done intentionally and equally so if it is as a result of negligence as such striking sentiments should not be made public just for the fun of it.

  4. Raman deep Singh cheema

    The Chechnya is not different from other regions of world where there is conflict going on or has just passed .As we see in every conflicting regions people becomes fundamentalists or to much obsessed with religious believes and traditionalists.We can see this in Iraq,Syria,Libya,Pakistan(Waziristan),Afganistan,and to some extent Israel.In these situation religious beliefs,regionanal beliefs,Nationalties beliefs etc.etc.becomes their wepons to fight the grim situation,that pervailed due to conflict.But by the passage of time all this dilutes from their daily life.

  5. Alliyah Brown

    This documentary was disappointing to me. It shows that Chechnya fought for independence for nothing. There is too much that is not Islamic. They fighting was for nothing.

  6. Aftab Ahmed

    A beautiful documentary showing glimpse of Peaceful, Beautiful Muslim Country. A nice introduction about the culture , people and their positive Islamic thinking in every field of life. Awesome.

  7. thomas

    Chechenia: europe??
    doc producers should go back to geography basics.

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