Sport movies and patriotism for the benefit of Vladimir Putin

In Swedish

Markus Alexandersson
Journalist and historian

In Russia, history is widely used to create a stronger national identity in line with the ideas within Vladimir Putins presidency. The greatest example of this is the World War II victory, which is frequently expressed in many ways to promote an image of Russia as the saviour from fascism, not least by lavish film productions. In recent years, sports have also become an important area for the Putin regime to create pride and an image of a glorious past. All major Russian movie productions are dependent on support from the state, and the state policy is to support only movies that can provide nationalistic and patriotic emotions. In this article the development is traced with a look back to sport movie traditions and different ideas from promoting feelings from sports. A closer look at three specific movies produced between 2013 and 2018, all of which became high-grossing films, provides a good image of how sports play an important function in creating patriotism and support for Vladimir Putin.

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MARKUS ALEXANDERSSON has been working as a sport journalist, in recent years covering the Swedish premier league in south of Sweden. He has also studied history and is interested in how history is used for political purposes and for sports functions in creating identities.

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