Join Professor Richard Peña for a film series highlighting the often overlooked cinematic achievements of the nations formerly part of the Soviet bloc. Although these works were financed by their communist governments and created under the watchful eyes of censors, they powerfully demonstrate the great cinematic creativity and the courage of filmmakers who challenged the tightly-controlled images and narratives promoted by these regimes.
July 6, 2022
"Father", 1966, Istvan Szabo
Growing up in the years spanning the end of the WWII, the Hungarian Revolution and the gradual opening of the Sixties, a young man tries to discover who the mythical father who he never knew really was. Clearly influenced by the French New Wave, Szabo alternates between tragedy and humor, fantasy and daily reality.
July 11, 2022
"Daisies", 1966, Vera Chytilova, Czechoslovakia
Hailed as a feminist masterpiece, this surreal send-up follows two young women as they expose the daily hypocrisy of socialist society. Although popular with domestic and international audiences, the film was pulled from Czech screens, and Chytilova would rarely work until 1989.
July 12, 2022
"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors", 1965, Sergei Paradjanov, USSR (Ukraine)
Based on a famous Ukrainian novel that follows a romance between members of feuding families, Paradjanov's combines sumptuous color, lyrical folk music, and extraordinary camera effects into an avant-garde work with overtones of a Marc Chagall-like rural fantastic. One of the greatest of all Soviet films.