wednesday 2 april
(dir Leonid Gorovets, USSR, 1990, 92 min, in Russian w/English subtitles)
Kiev, on the eve of Babi Yar, 1941: the last 24 hours of a Jewish tailor and his family in an intense drama of the fate of the Jews under Nazi and Soviet tyranny, without onscreen violence. Co-sponsored with the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide & Memory Studies and the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival.
Introduction by Olga Gershenson, UMass.
7:30pm UMass Amherst
137 Isenberg School of Management
LEONID GOROVETS was born in 1950 in Kiev (USSR) where he received his education before becoming filmmaker, producer, and scriptwriter. He made his name with his 1988 Soviet sci-fi film Glade of Fairy Tales, and later made one of the best-known Soviet Holocaust films—Ladies Tailor (1991, based on a play by Aleksandr Borshchagovsky). In 1991 he moved to Israel, where he continued his career with Coffee with Lemon (1994)—the very first drama depicting life of Russian immigrants in Israel, followed by a number of other short films and features. In the late 2000s he returned to Kiev, where he worked on TV and film productions until his untimely death in 2013.
OLGA GERSHENSON is Associate Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and associated faculty in the Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies. With a BA from Russia, an MA from Israel, and a PhD from UMass in Communication, her personal geography parallels her academic path tracking Russian-Jewish culture at home and abroad. For years she followed Russian immigrant cultural production in Israel: she published Gesher: Russian Theater in Israel (2005) about a unique bilingual theater in Tel Aviv, and a series of articles about Russian-Israeli cinema. Her book, The Phantom Holocaust: Soviet Cinema and Jewish Catastrophe, was published in 2013 by Rutgers UP. Olga Gershenson teaches courses on Jewish cultural studies, such as Jewish Theater and Film or Israeli and Palestinian Popular Cultures. She has a lively lecture schedule at universities, film festivals, and other cultural events.