The University of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers will present the 17th annual Russian Film Symposium from May 4th through May 9th. Under the title Red Empire Reloaded, the event promises to examine how, over the past 25 years, Russian cinema has been marked by the dominance of feature films, many of which are dramatic interpretations of the major events of Soviet rule. The symposium will also bring well-recognized scholars and critics working in Russian film. See schedule and details below:
As the Nazis prepare to pull out of Finland, a young Finnish conscript is left chained to a rock in Lapland, instructed to kill as many Russian soldiers as he can before he dies. Freeing himself, he makes his way to a farm where a widowed Lapp woman is nursing an injured Russian officer back to health. Despite the lack of a common language between any of them, the two men form an uneasy trust for each other and a strong shared attraction for their unlikely caregiver.
First on the Moon (2005)
Director Aleksei Fedorchenko‘s mockumentary follows a group of journalists who uncover a sensational story: that even before the Second World War, in 1938, the first rocket was made in the USSR and Soviet scientists were planning to send an orbiter to the moon and back.
Director Nikolai Lebedev’s Star is the second film adaptation of the eponymous short story by Emmanuil Kazakevich about a group of Soviet scouts working behind German lines during World War II.
Harvest Time (2003)
The debut feature film by Marina Razbezhkina tells the story of Antonina, a combine operator in a small Russian village who supports her amputee husband and their two small boys. Her family begins to fall apart, however, when Antonina receives a special award for her work.
Franz + Polina (2006)
Set in 1943, Mikhail Segal‘s romantic war drama tells the story of Franz, an SS soldier who deserts, and Polina, a Belarusian woman whose village is massacred.
Round table discussion featuring Russian film scholars Nancy Condee and Anton Dolin.
Fragment of an Empire (1929)
Director Fridrikh Ermler‘s silent Soviet film follows a man who loses his memory during the Russian Revolution and regains it 10 years later in St. Petersburg. The screening will feature live musical accompaniment.
Director Fedor Bondarchuk‘s WWII epic follows a band of Russian soldiers who fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and, in the process, become deeply connected to a Russian woman who has been living there. Stalingrad is noted for being the highest grossing Russian film of all time and the first one shot in 3D.
The story surrounding the first nuclear bomb test conducted in Semipalatinsk in 1949 follows a girl named Dina who lives with her father, Tolgat, in an isolated house in the Central Asian steppe.
Escape from Afghanistan (1994)
Loosely based on the so-called Badaber Uprising, the film from Timur Bekmambetov and Gennadii Kaiumov – which was originally titled The Peshawar Waltz – follows several Soviet and Afghan POWs who revolt and take over a military fortress.
The Thief (1997)
The harsh realities of a post-WWII Soviet Union are seen through the eyes of Sania, a six-year-old boy whose widowed mother falls in love with a charming criminal.
Ordered to Forget (2014)
Banned at the 2014 Moscow International Film Festival, the film follows a young couple who witness a horrifying war crime during Stalin’s mass deportation of Chechen and Ingush people in 1944.
Roundtable discussion featuring Russian film scholars Vladimir Padunov and Valeriia Gorelova.
The Hope Factory (2013/14)
The debut film from director Nataliia Meshchaninova tells the story of 17-year-old Svetlana, who dreams of leaving her bleak hometown of Norilsk.
Daytime panels and screenings are free and will take place on Pitt’s campus at 1500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall. Evening screenings will take place at Melwood Screening Room and are $8 regular admission, $7 for seniors and students, $4 for Pitt and Art Institute students.