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FILM PROGRAM 2008
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November 21, 2008 7 p.m.
A Light from the East
Directed by Amy Grappell
Produced by Amy Grappell, Christian Moore
2008, 62 minutes

1991. Glasnost. Perestroika. The Soviet Union opens its doors to the West. A troupe of young American actors from La Mama Theater in NY travels to the former USSR to participate in the first American/Ukrainian cultural exchange theater project in Soviet history. The play they are to perform is based on the life of Les Kurbas, a revolutionary theatre director who was murdered in one of Stalin's purges. Two weeks into their trip, Gorbachev is kidnapped, the Kremlin is overthrown by a military coup, and the entire USSR is plunged into volatile uncertainty. As rehearsals progress, the play ironically begins to mirror action in the streets. Kurbas and his company struggled to make art during the revolution that ushered in Communism; the international troupe performs the life of Kurbas as the walls of Communism come tumbling down. During the massive political changes of 1991, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of Communism, the film takes the viewer on a personal journey behind the iron curtain. Spanning a decade, LIGHT also offers a timely philosophical inquiry into the meaning of freedom.

It is a gripping documentary about the theater group Yara Arts and its play about avant-garde Ukrainian writer Les Kurbas, which it was about to perform in Ukraine just as the Orange Revolution unfurled in that country. The playwright Kurbas was a contemporary of the artist Burliuk, whose works were on display at the Museum, and his own experiences in the revolutionary times of the early 20th century seemed to foretell the post-Soviet political upheavals and their effects on the arts in Ukraine. The film was presented and discussed by Virlana Tkacz, Artistic Director of the Yara Arts Group.


November 16, 2008 7 p.m.
Holod-33 (Famine-33)
Directed by Oles Yanchuk
Produced by Oleksiy Chernishov
Written by Serhiy Dyachenko, Les Taniuk
Music by Viktor Patsukevych, Mykola Kolondionok
Cinematography Vasyl Borodin, Mykhailo Kretov
Distributed by Dovzhenko Film Studios
1991 (Ukraine, Soviet Union), 90 min.
Ukrainian, English subtitles

Holod-33 was screened in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Holodomor, the man-made famine resulting from Stalin's repressive policies designed to decimate the Ukrainian population.


November 7, 2008 7 p.m.
Eternal Memory: Voices from the Great Terror
Directed by David Pultz
Narrated by Meryl Streep
1997, 81 min.
Studio CreateSpace

In Eternal Memory, director David Pulz examines the Stalinist purges in the Soviet Union during the 1930s and 40s.

NFN: An estimated twenty million people lost their lives; some in labor camps, others starved in state-induced famine, and many others executed for "crimes against the state." Focusing on Ukraine, this film incorporates historical footage, interviews with witnesses and survivors, and commentary from public officials and historians, including former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Roman Szporluk of Harvard University, and Robert Conquest, author of The Great Terror: A Reassessment.


October 12, 2008
Taras Bulba

Directed by J. Lee Thompson
Written by Waldo Salt, Karl Tunberg
Based on the novel Taras Bulba by Ukrainian author Mykola Hohol (Nikolai Gogol)
Starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis
1962, distributed by United Artists, 122 min.
English

Film screening during the symposium "Putting Ukraine on the Map: Cossacks, Cartography, and Controversy" in conjunction with the presentation by Prof. Oleh Ilnytzkyj, 'Debunking the Myth: Gogol's Taras Bulba as a Manifestation of Russian Nationalism". Prof. Ilnytzkyj will screen and discuss the 1962 feature film Taras Bulba starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis.


October 12, 2008
A Kingdom Reborn: Treasures from Ukrainian Galicia

Producer/director Dani Stodilka
Screenwriter Peter Bejger
2007, 57 min.
English

A Kingdom Reborn. Treasures of Ukrainian Galicia brings to life one of the legendary cities and regions of Central Europe. Called variously Leopoli, Lemberg, Lwow, Lvov and now the city of Lviv, the subject of this program is a striking fairy tale metropolis. It is a cultural crossroad that is known in its Latin incarnation as Civitas Leonis, or the City of the Lion- a name bestowed in honor of its first Ruthenian medieval ruler Prince Lev, or the Lion. This city is the capital of a legendary principality called Galicia, whose architectural monuments and artistic treasures offer an exquisite blending of the Byzantine and Latin aesthetic.

As Lviv was transformed from a Ruthenian princely seat to a Polish royal city, from Austrian crownland capital to once again a Polish regional center, then to a captive city in the Nazi and Soviet empires, and finally to the heart of Ukrainian identity and European aspirations, national memory and civic identity were contested and recreated.

The film presents Lviv and its cityscape, and the regions myths, legends and artistic achievements, as constantly shifting arenas where diverse and complex identities evolved and now face specific challenges in the 21st century.

The soundtrack features rediscovered texts of old Ukrainian music as well as contemporary works by Myroslav Skoryk - a repertoire that will be a revelation to listeners. Our film also reflects the brilliant Armenian, Jewish, Austrian and Polish contributions to the artistic and architectural heritage of Galicia.

A Kingdom Reborn: Treasures from Ukrainian Galicia was screened as part of the symposium "Putting Ukraine on the Map: Cossacks, Cartoraphy, and Controversy"

A Kingdom Reborn website.


September 27, 2008
A Kingdom Reborn: Treasures from Ukrainian Galicia

Producer/director Dani Stodilka
Screenwriter Peter Bejger
2007, 57 min.
English

A Kingdom Reborn. Treasures of Ukrainian Galicia brings to life one of the legendary cities and regions of Central Europe. Called variously Leopoli, Lemberg, Lwow, Lvov and now the city of Lviv, the subject of this program is a striking fairy tale metropolis. It is a cultural crossroad that is known in its Latin incarnation as Civitas Leonis, or the City of the Lion- a name bestowed in honor of its first Ruthenian medieval ruler Prince Lev, or the Lion. This city is the capital of a legendary principality called Galicia, whose architectural monuments and artistic treasures offer an exquisite blending of the Byzantine and Latin aesthetic.

As Lviv was transformed from a Ruthenian princely seat to a Polish royal city, from Austrian crownland capital to once again a Polish regional center, then to a captive city in the Nazi and Soviet empires, and finally to the heart of Ukrainian identity and European aspirations, national memory and civic identity were contested and recreated.

The film presents Lviv and its cityscape, and the regions myths, legends and artistic achievements, as constantly shifting arenas where diverse and complex identities evolved and now face specific challenges in the 21st century.

The soundtrack features rediscovered texts of old Ukrainian music as well as contemporary works by Myroslav Skoryk - a repertoire that will be a revelation to listeners. Our film also reflects the brilliant Armenian, Jewish, Austrian and Polish contributions to the artistic and architectural heritage of Galicia.

Dani Stodilka and Peter Bejger introduced the film and responded to the audiences' questions following the showing. The screening was part of an evening program, which also included a book presentation The Red Prince by historian Timothy Snyder of Yale University.

A Kingdom Reborn website.


February–March, 2008
PYSANKA: The Ukrainian Easter Egg

Screened with each adult pysanka workshop, during pysanka demonstrations by artists, and school pysanka workshops.
Directed by Slavko Nowytski
USA, 1976
Internationally acclaimed 14 minute film by Slavko Nowytski featuring pysanka artist Luba Perchyshyn. Artistically shows the decorating process of Ukrainian Easter Eggs while explaining historic and spiritual background.


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