CWU News

Putin vs. Batman: Hollywood Icons Through a Russian Lens

Even on the silver screen, the United States and Russia are engaged in a cultural battle where the Russian film industry must contend with the importation of Hollywood films that dominate their box office.

Volha Isakava, Central Washington University professor of Russian Language and Culture, will present “Putin vs. Batman: The Migration of Film Genres from Hollywood to Russia,” at 4:00 p.m. on January 14. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the Student Union and Recreation Center room 137A. A reception will follow.

The talk, hosted by CWU’s College of Arts and Humanities, will explore how Russian cinematic traditions alter and even transform familiar Hollywood archetypes.

“How do [Russian filmmakers] employ or borrow and transform Hollywood conventions?” queried Isakava. “The Russian cinema market is dominated by Hollywood productions, and it’s like that everywhere.”

However, to say that it’s a blind Americanization of Russian genre films is also incorrect as although Russian cinema is heavily influenced by Hollywood productions, Russian film is not just a wholesale remaking of American blockbusters—“It’s a more complex process,” said Isakava.

Isakava, who wrote her doctoral thesis on late 1980’s Russian cinema, has always been a big fan of popular culture and in particular, “the reception of popular culture and how popular culture reflects different social issues and different social norms.”

“The picture is generally complex, and that’s what I’m going to talk about,” she said. “I am very honored to represent the College of Arts and Humanities to the general public, the community, the university.”

Parking is free in CWU lots after 4:30 p.m., except where noted and in the residence hall lots.

This presentation is a continuation of CWU’s Celebrating the Arts and Humanities series. For more information, visit the College of Arts and Humanities website at

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,