Goodbye, America Russian state TV replaces ‘Brother 2’ film credits with footage of U.S. riots and police violence
On Sunday evening, June 7, Russian state television aired Alexey Balabanov’s classic films “Brother” and “Brother 2,” marking the 20th anniversary of the latter motion picture.
Without explanation, Pervyi Kanal replaced the closing credits of “Brother 2” with recent footage of race riots and police violence in the United States, scored by the Nautilus Pompilius song that famously concludes Balabanov’s film — “The Last Letter.” As the chorus “Goodbye, America” repeats, the movie ends with videos showing Americans looting stores and tipping and setting fire to cars, and police officers beating, ramming, and trampling protesters.
The violent footage aired at exactly 9 p.m., according to the news outlet Fontanka, and lasted roughly a minute, leading directly into the evening news broadcast of “Vremya.” The segment is available at Pervyi Kanal’s website.
Warning: the video below contains scenes of violence.
The news broadcast that followed the movie began with the following gloomy introduction: “The fundamental values of the ‘free world’ are cracking under the blows of police clubs, burning in the fires of looted stores, and drowning in the fury of uncompromising confrontation.”
Spokespeople for the television station later explained that the broadcast of “Brother 2” technically ended before the contemporary footage from the U.S. aired. “Like other channels, Pervyi Kanal does not show the closing credits of films. Regarding ‘Brother 2’ and its 20-year anniversary, we felt it was important to recognize the picture’s two main creators: Sergey Bodrov and Alexey Balabanov. The film’s broadcast ended with the credits showing their names. At exactly 9 p.m., the program “Vremya” began, accompanied by the song ‘Goodbye, America’ [sic] by the band Nautilus Pompilius. As for any allusions that arise, that’s because real art is still relevant 20 years later,” explained Pervyi Kanal’s spokesperson.
Neither the relatives of the movie’s director (Alexey Balabanov, who died in 2013) nor the rock musicians who wrote and composed “The Last Letter” (Vyacheslav Butusov and Dmitry Umetsky) have commented publicly on the broadcast.
Russian television networks typically fast-forward through film credits. In 2017, State Duma deputy Stanislav Govorukhin advocated prohibiting TV stations from speeding through credits if they are accompanied by copyrighted music.
Cover photo: Pervyi Kanal