This idea touches upon free speech even in those films which are not investigative in a literal sense. For example, the film about Gagarin and the book about him (of the same name “Starman”) I was a co-author of have such an idea as well although the project was an unselfish tribute of love for my childhood’s hero.
I can remember myself very well, a five-year old boy, rushing into a street to have a look at the sky after the BBC informed about Gagarin’s feat. That was an exceptional moment which changed the future of mankind. When many years later I faced an opportunity to describe Gagarin’s life, I got astounded by what a man Yury was: he was a common guy with his disadvantages like everybody, but at the same time he was a man of a great courage.
On retuning from 108-minute flight around the Earth, Gagarin became a super star; he was honored by presidents and prime-ministers. He wanted to return into the space again but big bosses did not let him do it. However he attained his aim and in 1967 he was assigned a reserved pilot in Vladimir Komarov’s crew who had to fly spaceward in a new space ship “Soyuz-1”. Scientists found out at least 207 faults in the vehicle but the Kremlin insisted on the mission to be continued. If in Khruschyev’s time Gagarin could somehow influence on events, but he could do nothing in Brezhnev’s time. Gagarin wanted Komarov’s flight to be delayed but Brezhnev refused to meet with him. In the morning when they planned to launch Komarov’s ship, Gagarin tried to replace him being aware of a big crash possibility. But his friend refused: “If they send Yury, he will die instead of me.” Komarov, as is known died after landing.
This story had not been told in a due way before I faced the opportunity to do it properly. Many authors of the Soviet epoch, I had a chance to talk with supposed Yury intended to gain fame when tried to replace Komarov. But if Gagarin had had an opportunity to speak openly about his warnings, if freedom of speech had existed in the USSR, then Komarov would have lived until present days.
All my films have the main idea: free speech is the most important freedom and nowadays it is more difficult to protect it, no matter where you are – in Britain, Russia, USA or somewhere else.
My journalistic task is to investigate and disclose crimes, committed by governments, militaries or anybody else. This is the most important part of a system of preventions and counterbalance in any democratic society. But how may I serve my duty when a “democratic” government watches all my actions, knows where I go any time of a day or a night, records up my phone calls and taps my e-letters? If they can control me by just following each my step, can keep me away from important information, then the information available for public will be very poor. My free speech is bounded by contemporary sort of “Big brother” by Orwell. Concerning elections public’s freedom of choice is found to be decreased when people like me can not get the truth. How can electorate make the right choice if they do not know all the facts?
The films “Android oracle” and “Afghan massacre: death convoy” that shows how Americans conceal their connection to the murder of 3 thousand prisoners in North Afghanistan are devoted to the same theme. In essence, in all the films included in the Rambler TV program except one, I show restriction of freedoms in any form.
Finally, brave people who agreed to speak openly, not fearing consequences are the top point in my films. These stories are about them and their, but not my voice will influence on audience’s opinion. Nobody would have known the truth without them. That is why documentary films are so important. Television was getting “stupid” for already many years, channels’ management believed in audience’s only need of entertainment. But I believe that we should entertain as well as inform, giving constantly new knowledge.