Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania- An autobiographical film by poet, critic, curator, and director Jonas Mekas, founder of New York City's celebrated Anthology Film Archives. This highly personal 1971 feature chronicles his first trip back to Semeniskiai, Lithuania, the village where he was raised, after an absence of 25 years. A moving film dedicated 'to all the displaced people in the world,' it opens with footage of his first years in America and closes with contemporary visits to the site of a German labor camp where he and his brother spent a year during World War II. Guest presenters Jonas Mekas and Annette Michelson (NYU Tisch Cinema Studies) will provide introductions and be available for discussion during the Q&A. Opening Night reception to follow. (88min, 16mm)
The Fourth Wave- This is the first installment of a documentary series by filmmaker Viktoria Melnykova. It is about the commonly described 'fourth wave' of Ukrainian emigration to the West, this latest wave having started following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Melnykova's film focuses on the story of a frustrated composer who is not able to develop a fulfilling musical career in an independent Ukraine and emigrates to a small town in Italy to pursue his creative interests. The composer is just one of tens of thousands of highly educated Ukrainians who, over the last two decades, have chosen to leave that which is familiar in search of a happier and more prosperous life in the West. Presented by Yuri Shevchuk, lecturer of Ukrainian language and culture at Columbia University and founder of the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University. (2008, 80min, Ukr w/Eng subtitles)
A Trouble by the Lake- by Slava Feofilaktov; Next- by Anatoliy Lavrenishyn
Caffee Grounds- by Alexandra Ilmenska; Happy-End- by Serhiy Kotok
Lulaby- by Oleh Tsurikov
The Oath- by Maryna Vroda; Against The Sun- by Valentyn Vasyanovych; The Velvet Season- by Olexandra Khrebtova
Ukrainian filmmaker Bohdana Smyrnova introduces film shorts created by classmates from Kyiv's Karpenko-Kary film school. Following the screening (a NYC premiere for many of the shorts), she will speak about her colleagues' careers and the unique aspects and challenges of studying film production in Kyiv.
Power Trip- Corruption, assassination, street rioting and absurd culture clash highlight the electricity crisis in post-Soviet Tbilisi, Georgia providing an emotional and dramatic case study of traumatic transition from communism to capitalism. AES Corp., the American power company, has purchased the privatized electricity distribution company in Tbilisi, capital of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. AES manager Piers Lewis must now train the formerly communist populace that customers must now pay for their electricity. The Georgians, meanwhile, devise ever more clever ways to get it for free. Amidst hot tempers and high drama, Lewis balances his love for the Georgian people with the hardships his company creates for them, as they struggle to build a nation from the rubble of Soviet collapse. Five-time Emmy winning director Paul Devlin with be present to introduce his film and lead the Q&A discussion. The screening of Power Trip (2003, 85 min, Georgian w/Eng subtitles) will be followed by a film short of scenes from the Rose Revolution of 2003.
solidarity. This short film (2005, 21min), directed by Joan Schimke and produced by Eva Nagorski (both of whom will be in attendance), is set in 1982 communist Poland during the time of rule by marshal law. A young couple gathers to celebrate their wedding anniversary with their closest friends. During the get together, a simple accident creates an unexpected turn of events, and in a matter of minutes, life-long friendships are destroyed.
A Lesson of Belorusian, directed by Miroslav Dembinski, focuses on supporters of a local Lyceum in Minsk, founded in the early 1990's with the aim of raising an elite Belarusan intelligentsia. However, in 1995, the Lyceum is labelled a banned educational institution by President Lukashenka, forcing its student to continue their studies behind closed doors. The 2006 Presidential elections becomes the culminating point of the film, during which Belarusans struggle for their right to be heard. (2006, 55min, Belarusan w/Eng subtitles)
This screening session is co-sponsored by the Belarusan Youth Movement of America and the Belarusan Museum.
Color folk drawings and black & white photography stills are animated to create a tapestry weaving together vignettes of life in the village Kryvorivnya in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine,
where to this day, the passage of time has its own pace. Directed by Miso & Lida Suchy. (2007, 21min, Ukrainian w/Eng subtitles)
I Am a Monument to Myself- Mr. Hvatov performs an important social mission in his community: he brings attention to memory and reconciliation by creating memo- rials that mark the lives of people and soldiers who have found their final resting place in his west Ukrainian town. Director Dmytro Tiazhlov captures the essence of this eccentric gentleman who, with his homespun philosophy and a sense of humor, combines cosmopolitanism and asceticism with an active and provocative role in the daily life of his community. (2009, 55min, Ukrainian w/Eng subtitles)
A Parched Land-This film, directed by Taras Tomenko, is about a man who discovers an angel in the desert. He brings the angel home and locks him up, but soon realizes the economic benefits of his treasure. He sets up shop and begins charging people for a glimpse of the angel. (2004, 25min, non-dialogue)
Guest presenter Alexander Motyl will introduce these films and lead a Q&A. A closing night drinks reception will take place prior to this screening session. Please join us!