Protection/ blat

The book “Courier” gives the readers a feeling that in 1980s in the USSR connections played a crucial role in almost all the spheres of everyday life. The film puts almost as much emphasis on protection, or blat, as the book does. The shameful fact that in the late USSR unfair promotion of acquaintance was a commonplace is shown in the following episodes in both the film and the book.

Ivan tells his friend Basin to ask his dad who is a loader at a vegetable store to promote him for a job of a loader too. Basin himself is already working there because of his father’s protection. It appears that to get even such a low qualified job, one still needs to use connections.

Ivan got his job of a courier also using connections of his mother. On Ivan’s first day at the new workplace the head of the scientific magazine where Ivan started working presented him to his colleagues as a “new courier under protection of Aida Borisovna”. The workers started saying with approval that they know and respect her. The fact that somebody’s protection was the first criteria to evaluate a new worker shows how deep that disease of blat and biased promotion integrated in people’s mindset. In the movie, however, that episode was omitted.