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INTERVIEW: CEEL Contributor Agne Dovydaidyte on her forthcoming documentary about Lithuanian rural life

Lithuanian villages, as in most of Eastern Europe, are now in semi-terminal decline. Once lively places known for their traditions and values, they are increasingly deserted. Schools are closing down, and once-thriving churches becoming monuments to the past. So when CEEL contributor Agne Dovydaityte found her grandfather’s diary, detailing daily life in one such settlement…

Borimir Totev | September 12, 2017
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CONCERT REVIEW: Gdansk Band Trupa Trupa: an emotional storm of sound

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You know when it’s just been raining very heavily and suddenly the clouds break and the sun shines through? That’s what Trupa Trupa’s music sounds like as intense loud passages give way to gentle quiet interludes. This four-piece from Gdansk were making only their second U.K. appearance but they held the attention of the audience…

Ian Mole | September 9, 2017
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OPEN CITY DOCS PREVIEW: Vitaly Mansky’s ‘Private Chronicles: Monologue’ and ‘Gagarin’s Pioneers’: a human face on the Soviet (and post-Soviet) experiment

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One of the highlights of this year’s Open City Docs festival is a quartet of documentaries by an almost unknown (in the UK) 53 year-old Ukrainian Jewish film-maker, Vitaly Mansky who, since his debut in 1989, has now completed over 30 films, and been nominated four times for the prestigious Nika award. His fidelity to…

Robin Ashenden | September 7, 2017
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Interview with Alec Secareanu – leading actor in Francis Lee’s groundbreaking Anglo-Romanian LGBT drama

Alec Secareanu plays Gheorghe Ionescu in God’s Own Country, the award-winning debut feature film by writer/director Francis Lee, which tells the story of a young Yorkshire farmer who finds himself caught up in a love story with a Romanian farm worker. A powerful film, bracingly different from mainstream LGBT cinema, it’s also unwittingly reflective of…

Borimir Totev | September 1, 2017
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PREVIEW: OPEN CITY DOCS: CEE Titles Featured (6-10 September)

August 28, 2017 PRIVATE CHRONICLES. MONOLOGUE. VITALY MANSKY / 1999 / RUSSIA / 95′ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 – 20:30 Exploring the collective life of the generation born as Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, Mansky worked with over 5,000 hours of home movies to create this unique chronicle of everyday life in the…

Robin Ashenden | August 28, 2017
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REVIEW: Xameleon Theatre – Chekhov’s vision of ‘Love in a Nutshell’

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Xameleon Theatre treat London audiences to a new insight into the life and works of Chekhov in their innovative production Love in a Nutshell at the  Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone. Performed in Russian with English subtitles, the production adapts nine of the playwright’s short stories on the theme of love and marriage, linked by a commentary from…

Margaret Drummond | June 22, 2017
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DASH CAFE:Teffi and ‘The Émigré Flight from Russia’

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The most recent event in the Revolution17 series, organised by Dash Arts, took place on 24 May at Rich Mix, focusing on the fate of Russian émigrés who fled the country after the October Revolution. The organisers chose to shape the evening around the figure of Teffi (Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya), a famous satirical writer and poetess…

Sofia Gurevich | June 7, 2017
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DASH CONCERT: ‘Oligarkh’ – funky montage of Russian history

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When we were admitted to the venue, the mere five tables arranged in the sizeable room made it clear some dancing was expected. The audience was only small, about thirty, but ten of these were up dancing for most of the show and that’s a decent ratio. This duo from St Petersburg performed almost non-stop…

Ian Mole | June 7, 2017
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THEATRE REVIEW: Marin Sorescu’s ‘Jonah’ – ‘great, imaginative literature matched with great theatrical effort’

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Marin Sorescu’s Jonah was originally published in 1968 and is considered the playwright’s masterpiece. It’s the famous monologue of the Old Testament fisherman, who endures his dark night of the soul trapped inside a whale. ‘Jonah! Jonah!’, he cries out, first arriving on stage. ‘Actually I myself am Jonah’, he confides to us. ‘I call…

Andreea Scridon | May 21, 2017
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EXHIBITION REVIEW: ‘Postponed Futures’ at GRAD: the best show in London on the Russian Revolution – by far

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Postponed Futures is really quite something. In a year when London’s saturated with exhibitions about the Russian Revolution in its centenary year, the show’s curator, Nikita Kadan, has forged a different response. He shows a Ukrainian exhibition, political and thought-provoking, which reminds us not to forget what’s going on amid the celebrations: a war in…

Julia Secklehner | May 18, 2017