‘Ukrainian Institute London, National Olexander Dovzhenko Centre, Kyiv, Ukraine and Institute of Contemporary Arts, London will be screening this film as part of a “Olexander Dovzhenko’s Silent Trilogy: Life and Death at the Times of the Revolution.” The trilogy is part of the Ukrainian Institute’s series, “The Century of Ukrainian Revolutions: 1917-2017.”
All-Ukrainian Photo-Cinema Directorate (VUFKU), 1927
Directed by Oleksandr Dovzhenko
Written by Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Maik Yohansen, Yurii Tutunnyk
Cinematography by Boris Zavelev
Design by Vasyl Krychevskii
Music by FUTUREETHNO (2011)
Starring Mykola Nademskii, Georgii Astafiiev, Les Podorozhnii, Vladimir Uralskii, Semen Svashenko
SYNOPSIS: Through the centuries, a gray-haired old man guards bloodstained Scythian treasures of Zvenyhora mountain. Before his eyes, as if in a dream, one historical period follows another – from the arrival of the Varangians and the Haidamak Cossacks on through to the First World War and the October Revolution. A “gold rush” creates fantastic visions in the heads of treasure hunters and possesses the old man’s elder grandson Pavlo. His younger grandson, Tymish, trades his grandfather’s archaic world of nature for “rabfak” (remedial school for workers) and industrialization. The brothers meet on the enchanted mountain for a final battle.
The first film in Dovzhenko’s silent Ukrainian trilogy brought him fame as an original and talented avant garde film director, but also ignited a fierce debate about the national cinema in Ukraine.
Of this film, Dovzhenko himself reflected: “Zvenyhora . . . is me: contradictory, visionary, often uncontrollable, quivering with an acute sense of conflict and the rhythm of all ages.”
The magic tricks of early silent films, the gloomy mysticism of German films of the 1920s, Chaplin-like irony, avant-garde editing – in a unique way Dovzhenko combined all of these elements in his lyrical epic movie.
PROGRAM: Intro to the screening and Q&A period by Philip Cavendish, Reader in Russian and Soviet Film Studies, School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies, UCL, London and Stanislav Menzelevskyi, a Programme Director from Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Ukraine’s national cinemateque.
MUSIC: FUTUREthno is a Ukrainian-Polish band playing “ethnic music of the future”. This band interprets folk themes with the language of jazz and modern electronic music. The founder, a Ukrainian Roman Bardun (piano), studied in the Jazz Department of Frederic Chopin Music School in Poland, where he met the other members of the group: Philip Shymanyak (violin), Lucas Ovchynnikov (double bass), Dominic Yaske (percussions) and DJ Krime, one of Poland’s best-known DJs.’ (Ukrainian London)