BY THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO BOTSWANA
IGOR S. LIAKIN-FROLOV
ON THE OCCASION OF
THE FESTIVAL OF RUSSIAN FILMS
March 8, 2005
YourExcellencies Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Representatives
of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to host and greet you in the cinema theater of the Russian Embassy. Today is an official opening of the Festival of Russian Films, which is going to take place in Botswana for the first time during past years. In the framework of the festival organized in cooperation with Gaborone Film Society a number of our latest movies, which received wide recognition and international rewards will be shown. They are very different – such as a contemporary version of Chekhov’s story, or a very touching film “Dad” which recreates the years of 30ths of the last century, or a very modern fantasy “Night watch” that has become extremely popular among Russian young people.
We consider this Film Festival as our modest contribution to the further development of friendly relations between Botswana and the Russian Federation. Thanks to the support of Mr S. Weeks and other members of Gaborone Film Society the Festival will be held in Maru-a-Pula Secondary School starting from March 8. You will be able to receive the schedule and description of the films before your leaving in adjacent hall. We hope that the films to be demonstrated will give the audience more clear perception of Russia and its people, of our rich culture and traditions, as well as of Russian soul that is often spoken as “a mysterious one”. I believe that events of such kind are ones of the most effective forms of cooperation, which is easily understood by ordinary people. The Embassy plans to continue its efforts in this field, in particular we are working now on a number of activities related to the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
As I see a lot of representatives of diplomatic corps in this hall, I would like to touch upon another subject. Tomorrow is a special date for the staff members of the Russian Embassy as three years ago President Putin signed a decree establishing in Russia a professional holiday “the Day of Diplomat”. This particular date was selected not accidentally. More than 400 years ago, exactly on February 10 the Russian diplomatic service was for the first time mentioned in official documents as a state structure. I suppose that so far we are the only country, which celebrates such a festive occasion. In this regard I would like to share our holiday mood with you. I wish you, dear colleagues, the best – good health, prosperity and further success in your work.
Today we show you N. Mikhalkov’s film “Barber of Siberia”. Mikhalkov is mostly known as director and leading actor of another film – “Burnt by the Sun” – which received an Oscar prize a few years ago as the best foreign film. The success of “Barber of Siberia” lies in its’ epic scale and concentration on the historical events, which recreate Russia’s most glorious years. Please, enjoy the film.