Georgiy Daneliya’s Hopelessly Lost (1973): A Narrative of the Cold War in a Film Adaptation of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate of English Literature, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, College of Literature and Humanities, International Campus of Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Professor of English Literature, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, College of Literature and Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of English Literature, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, College of Literature and Humanities, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.


In the twenty-first century, film adaptation studies shifted to the reworking of the literary text within the new sociopolitical situation of the time. Such literary theories as cultural materialism can explicate the film adaptation. Here, Daneliya’s Hopelessly Lost (1973) is investigated focusing on the political orientations of the Soviet-American Cold War. Hence, through cultural materialism a window is opened unto the past literary text of Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to be read within the political presence of the Cold War. Per se, Sinfield’s practice of reading known as a ‘theater of war’ is applied to show the cracks and the faultlines that the director has used to depict his narrative of the Cold War. Therefore, it is demonstrated that Hopelessly Lost (1973) is a film adaptation that has focused on those parts of the novel that contain the dark images of the United States and attempts to develop the types of mutations that are in line with this orientation. Altogether the narrative of the film adaptation promulgates a grim reality that implicates the inevitable downfall of the United States amidst the political alignment of the Cold War through the character of Uncle Sam.


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