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The Ukrainian Museum's film series and traditional arts programs are supported, in part, by public funds
from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

November 14, 2009
Venue: American Museum of Natural History
The Living (Zhyvi)
Ukrainian, English subtitles and English voice-over
Copyright: International Charitable Fund Ukraine-3000, 2008
A Lystopad Film Production
75 min.
Director: Serhiy Bukovsky
Script writers: Serhiy Bukovsky, Serhiy Trymbach, Victoria Bondar, and Yevhenia Kravchuk
Cinematographer: Volodymyr Kukorenchuk
Producers: Mark Edwards and Victoria Bondar

The Ukrainian Museum is proud to co-present this U.S. premiere of The Living (Zhyvi) at the American Museum of Natural History's Kaufmann Theater as part of the 33rd annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival.

The Living is director Sergiy Bukovsky's tribute to the children who survived the horrors of the Holodomor, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's attempted genocide, through starvation, of the Ukrainian people in 1932-1933. British journalist Gareth Jones was one of the few outsiders who were able to travel behind the Iron Curtain and witness the atrocity, which he documented in his personal diaries. The film shares these shocking first-hand accounts and juxtaposes Soviet propaganda of the time – showing happy, productive peasants – against snippets of testimony of Holodomor survivors. The scattered remembrances of these witnesses – who had been children at the time of the Holodomor – slowly fit together to complete a horrific picture of an atrocity that claimed the lives of 25,000 Ukrainians each day but remained hidden by Soviet authorities for decades and is still largely unknown.

Director Sergiy Bukovsky will be present for the screening.

October 15, 2009 7 p.m.
Meet Dr. Henry Marsh in person!
The English Surgeon
Copyright: Eyeline Films, 2007, 93 min.
Feature documentary
English, Ukrainian, and Russian, English subtitles

Billed by The New York Times as "enthralling, astonishing … agonizingly human," The English Surgeon is producer/director Geoffrey Smith's unforgettable, award-winning story of Dr. Henry Marsh, a prominent British brain surgeon who for 15 years has been traveling to Ukraine to help his colleague Dr. Igor Kurilets save the lives of people who otherwise would have had little or no chance of survival. Shot in a hospital full of desperate patients and makeshift equipment, the film offers an intimate portrait of the doctor-patient relationship; of humanity, frustration, and failure; and of hope and perseverance against all odds.

Dr. Marsh will be at the Museum for the screening of this very special film – an event not to be missed.


September 26, 2009
Zaporozhets beyond the Danube
1938, B&W, 52 min.
Original title: Zaporozhets za Dunayem. (a.k.a. Cossacks in Exile, and Cossacks across the Danube)
Screen adaptation of the first Ukrainian opera, composed by Semen Hulak-Artemovsky in 1863
Copyright: Vasyl Avramenko
Variray Blue Seal Recording
Ukrainian, English subtitles

Zaporozhets za Dunayem tells the story of the freedom-loving Cossacks who survived the destruction of the Zaporozhian Host by the Muscovite troops of Catherine the Great and subsequently moved into Ottoman territory, where they established a military settlement, or Sich, on the Danube River. Far from their beloved Ukraine, they dream of returning home. The film is a blend of comedy, melodrama, and an abundance of iconic Ukrainian songs.

The making of the film is a story in itself. In fact, the film owes its existence to the dedication and determination of Ukrainian immigrants who, scattered around North America in the 1930s, mobilized to raise money for its production. Zaporozhets za Dunayem was shot on a huge set in New Jersey built expressly for the purpose, with the visionary film producer and celebrated champion of Ukrainian culture and folk dance Vasyl Avramenko recruiting the film director Edgar Ulmer to direct the film.

Zaporozhets za Dunayem will be introduced by Dr. Yuri Shevchuk of Columbia University; the university's Ukrainian Film Club is the co-organizer of the film screening. Dr. Shevchuk will also lead a post-screening discussion of the film, which will be followed by a reception.

April 24, 2009 7 p.m.
"Poetry, Prose, and Film in New York"

The films were presented by Dr. Alexander Motyl, Rutgers University. The aspiring, talented, Ukrainian American filmmakers were present and spoke about their work:

The Summons by Olenka Denysenko
Ashtray by Lesya Kalynska
Land of the Lost Crusaders feature documentary (trailer) by Lesya Kalynska, co-directed with Giorgi Kharebava
Epiphany at Chornobyl by Irene Zabytko
Start Wearing Purple by Max Orlowsky Hoffman, music by Gogol Bordello

This unique cultural evening placed the spotlight on the work of a number of accomplished poets, writers, and filmmakers:

Virlana Tkacz – founding director of the Yara Arts Group, a resident company at La MaMa Experimental Theatre
Vasyl Makhno – Ukrainian-language poet and author of 38 Poems about New York and Other Things, Cornelia Street Café, and the play Coney Island
Orest Popovych – translator of Vasyl Makhno's poetry into English
Askold Melnyczuk – award-winning author of What Is Told, Ambassador of the Dead, and The House of Windows
Alexander Motyl – author of Whiskey Priest, Who Killed Andrei Warhol, and the forthcoming Flippancy and The Jew Who Was Ukrainian
Marko Robert Stech – author of Holos/Voice
Olenka Denysenko – NYC-based filmmaker and director of The Summons
Lesya Kalynska – award-winning director of The Balloonist and In the Land of the Lost Crusaders, and founder of the Pomegranate Images film company
Max Orlowsky Hoffman – juror at the Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts, and founder of Blackbird Productions
Irene Zabytko – award-winning author of The Sky Unwashed, When Luba Leaves Home, and the forthcoming My Chornobyl and She Was Exotic and Strange and director of Epiphany at Chornobyl and the forthcoming Life in the Dead Zone

Print the e-blast.

April 22, 2009
"The Egg and the Canvas in Color"

As part of New York City's Immigrant Heritage Week, the Museum is presenting a special program on Wednesday, April 22: "The Egg and the Canvas in Color." Slavko Nowytski's award-winning film Pysanka will be screened continuously from 11:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m., and tours of the exhibitions A Generous Vision: A Major Gift of Works by Mychajlo Moroz and In Full Bloom: The Pysanky of Folk Artist Iryna Bilianska will be given at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. The special program is included in the price of Museum admission.

Immigrant Heritage Week, which takes place this year from April 17 to April 23, is an annual celebration of the vibrant immigrant cultures, heritage, and communities found in every corner of New York City. The event is now in its sixth year.

March 27, 2009 and
March 29, 2009
Directed by Roxy Toporowych
Original Music by Kruno Spisic
Narrated by Roxy Toporowych
2010, USA

Folk! is an award winning, fun, and revealing documentary about Ukrainian dance as a typical cultural experience in immigrant communities. It focuses on the New York-based dance group called Syzokryli, but also gives a historic overview of the development of Ukrainian dance through interviews with scholars in North America and Ukraine. Producer/director Roxy Toporowich presented and discussed her film with the audience.

Folk! website.

March 3, 2009 7 p.m.
The Living (Zhyvi)
Ukrainian, English subtitles and English voice-over
Copyright: International Charitable Fund Ukraine-3000, 2008
A Lystopad Film Production
75 min.
Director: Serhiy Bukovsky
Script writers: Serhiy Bukovsky, Serhiy Trymbach, Victoria Bondar, and Yevhenia Kravchuk
Cinematographer: Volodymyr Kukorenchuk
Producers: Mark Edwards and Victoria Bondar

On March 3, 2009 the director, Sergiy Bukovsky, and co-producer Victoria Bondar made a personal appearance for the screening at The Ukrainian Museum to present and discuss their film. They were in New York a day earlier to host the presentation at the Jewish Heritage Museum of one of their other films Spell Your Name, produced by Steven Spielberg.

They were children when everything was taken away from their parents. Children of farmers who lived on and tilled the world's most fertile soil and who were thrown into the grip of hunger to die a slow agonizing death. Those who survived were destined to serve as an obedient army of slaves Only now are these people beginning to talk about their experience. How their parents were whipped and driven towards a "bright future". How every last possession was taken away. How whole villages were dying. And how they survived, despite it all "I wish our generation had never been born," says one of the witnesses.

Among the narrators is Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine. We see him at the burial site of Holodomor victims in his home village of Khuruzhivka in the Sumy region. And after that a field of golden grain appears, a reminder of the recent past. The filmmakers chose not to use original music in the film. Instead we hear all of the sounds-and songs-related to these personal histories.

The film interlaces the Holodomor tragedy with the global upheavals of the early 1930s: the collapse of economy in the USA, Hitler's coming to power in Germany, Stalin's war with the peasantry. This last group was defending private property, so they either had to acknowledge defeat, or die. But in 1933 peasants were left with no choice. The Ukrainian problem-any display of independent national policy-was meant to be solved at the same time.

Ukraine 3000 The Living website.

March, 2009
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.

February 27, 2009
David Burliuk and the Japanese Avant-garde
Directed by Michael Craig
2007, Copernicus Films

Internationally renowned as the "father of Futurism" in his native Ukraine and in Russia, David Burliuk was a major contributor to the seminal period of modernism in the early decades of the 20th century.

Screened in conjunction with the exhibition Futurism and After: David Burliuk, 1882-1967

Copernicus Films - Moscow Archives website.

January 16, 2009
The North Star
1943, B&W
Directed by Lewis Milestone
Story and Screenplay by Lillian Hellman
Produced by Samuel Goldwyn and released through RKO Radio
Music by Aaron Copland
All-star cast with Hollywood greats Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, Ann Harding, Jane Withers, Farley Granger, Erich Von Stroheim, Dean Jagger, and others.

A pro-Soviet propaganda film about a Ukrainian village that defends itself against the 1941 Nazi invasion from the West. The North Star received five Oscar nominations and was re-released in 1957 as Armored Attack.

Prof. Alexander J. Motyl, Rutgers University, will present and discuss the film's flawed portrayal of Ukrainians in WWII, offer commentary and historical background. Q&A after the screening.

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