Filming the Revolution: Ukrainian Avant-garde Films 1929-1931

Sunday, 15 October 2017, 4:00pm - 6:00pm, Blickle Kino, 21er Haus
Filming the Revolution: Ukrainian Avant-garde Films 1929-1931
curated by Konstantin Akinsha

Session 1:
Oleksandr Dovzhenko
Earth (1930) – 84 min
Original with English subtitles
[Info] [Trailer]

The silent classic Earth is usually mentioned as one of the greatest movies of the Soviet era, alongside Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera.

In contrast to his early works, in Earth Dovzhenko adopts a more conventional narrative form. Moreover, this is his first film with a modern, rather than historical, plot. The film addresses the start of the collectivization campaign in Ukraine, but the director managed to transform a typical propaganda story of class struggle into a universal philosophical parable of life and death.

The Soviet press severely criticized the film for its “naturalism” and “physiologism”. The film was banned nine days after its release.

Siegfried Kracauer, the famous film theorist wrote: “The film combines two trends: the political and the religious. Politically, it supports current work on the construction of the state and, for the good of collectivization, campaigns earnestly against the kulaks. I think it uses improper means to do that. … Its title, Earth, is more than just a name – it is a religion …”

With an introductory conversation between Konstantin Akinsha and Ivan Kozlenko

Konstantin Akinsha is an art historian, journalist and curator; he is the Founding Director and Chair of the Russian Avant-garde Research Project, UK

Ivan Kozlenko is Director of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre in Kyiv, the Ukrainian national cinemateque

This program is organized under the auspices of the Ukraine in European Dialogue project of the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna, in cooperation with the Blickle Kino / 21er Haus, Vienna, and the Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre, Kyiv.

Tickets: 5,00 Euro
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Related Events:

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Timothy Snyder: Ukrainian History as World History: 1917-2017
Filming the Revolution: Ukrainian Film Posters of the 1920s
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Session 2
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Session 3
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Session 4
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Bread (1929) – 44 min
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