Transformation (Превращение, 1969) by Viktor Chugunov

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Prevrashcheniye (ru)
Muutumine (et)
Biến hình (vi)
Hóa hình (vi)

Year 1969
Director(s) Chugunov Viktor
Studio(s) Kazakhfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Folklore & myth (Rus./USSR minorities)
Literature (Rus./USSR minorities)
NSFW / 18+
War & battles
Animation Type(s)  Cutout
Drawn (cel)
Length 00:10:19
Wordiness 5.07 profile Ru, En
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When a wise man fails to deal with a flea, it starts a chain of events that leads to the destruction of his city.

The debut film of Viktor Chugunov, and one of the first animated films to be made in Kazakhstan (there was 1 each made in 1967 and 1968, and 3 in 1969). This is an ambitious effort that alternates being Looney-Tunes wacky and life-and-death serious, while mixing artistic styles and animation techniques.

The film was scanned and digitized from 35mm film by "Huan Carlos" in 2020 and uploaded to Youtube.

There may have been a Kazakh-language version made as well, but it does not seem to be available currently.




I translated the title "Превращение" from the perspective of both Catholics (biến hình) and Protestants (hóa hình) in Vietnam. This term is less common in Vietnamese society, but is very familiar in religious contexts. It is related to the event "Transfiguration of Yehoshua". In my opinion, Jenő Heltai's story is a bit like Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, that is, they are all parables about the causes leading to the collapse of civilizations.

Modern Vietnamese youth often like to read stories about the collapse of civilizations. What's very strange is that, They don't know exactly what the languages, customs, and laws of ancient and medieval societies were like, and can't even remember the names of any kings, but books about the collapse of Greece, Rome, [monarchical] China, the Third Reich, the Soviet Union, the Republic of Vietnam... are always best-sellers in the Vietnamese market, even when they are poorly translated by amateur translators.

Previously, I surveyed the opinions of Vietnamese people born after the 1980s. In general, they did not know how their ancestors used to take exams, and how strict the exam rules were during the monarchy, but they immediately attacked the classical exam system by parodying the satire of a few failed candidates at that time. This is also the problem that is devastating our era, when [it seems] that social morality is being influenced by immoral media, which paradoxically is created by those who are completely senseless but passionate about virtual power.


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