Western audiences are in raptures over the series. Its rating on the authoritative IMDb website stands at 8.8 of 10 based on more than 100,000 responses. But in Russia, it elicits a mix of emotions — even though it portrays Russian chess masters as undeniable geniuses. It seems that the series has touched some deep chord of national identity that even many Russians didn’t know existed.
Keep in mind that Russians commonly believe that the West doesn’t much like them. They conclude, therefore, that the West is constantly offending, underestimating, overlooking, infringing on or oppressing them.
The same thing applies to cultural works. Hollywood consistently depicts Russia in a negative light. This vast and beautiful land becomes a gray and gloomy desert in which alcoholics wearing fur earflaps line up at Lenin’s mausoleum, or else all Russians are reduced to shady hackers, mafia members or spies — and sometimes, all three at once…
To read more visit The Moscow Times.