Mountains and Meaning: Imagining the Carpathians in Soviet Ukrainian Cinema during the 60s and 70s

Mountains and Meaning: Imagining the Carpathians in Soviet Ukrainian Cinema during the 60s and 70s

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Dr. Joshua First

University of Mississippi

3.6.2021, 6.30 pm (UTC +3; Kyiv time)

online / zoom / youtube

We invite you to the online-lecture by Dr. Joshua First "Mountains and Meaning: Imagining the Carpathians in Soviet Ukrainian Cinema during the 60s and 70s". The lecture is part of the program  "To Mountains From a City: Imagining Carpathians in Arts and Culture".

This lecture frames interest in the Carpathian Mountains during the 1960s-70s in Ukrainian cinema within a broader discourse of “mountains and meaning,” both within the Soviet Union at this time, and within global nationalisms during the first half of the 20th century. Within this discourse, mountains are simultaneously transcendent spaces imbibed with religious, national, and personal meaning, but also spaces of commerce, tourism and mass culture. This lecture examines the intersections of those spaces in Timofii Levchuk’s film Pomylka Onere de Balzaka and Borys Ivchenko’s Annychka (both 1968), both about outsiders, the great French novelist and a Russian partisan fighter, respectively, finding transcendent meaning in the “colorful” Carpathian nature and people. This lecture compares the image of the mountains with Boris Durov and Stanislav Govorukhin’s Vertikal’ (1964), about a group of Odesity traveling to the Caucasus, and Leni Riefenstahl’s image of the Alps in the late Weimar-era German “Bergfilm,” The Blue Light (Das Blaue Licht, 1932).

The event will be delivered on an online platform zoom. To join the discussion, please, register.

Live streaming on Youtube will be available.

Working languages: Ukrainian and English. Simultaneous interpreting to/from Ukrainian will be provided. 

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Dr. Joshua First

Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies at the University of Mississippi and specializes in the history of Russia and Ukraine during the 20th and 21st centuries. He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2008. First has published articles on Ukrainian cinema, Soviet film sociology, and the politics of melodrama. His book, Ukrainian Cinema: Belonging and Identity during the Soviet Thaw appeared in December 2014 and a follow-up volume on Paradjanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors appeared in 2016. His next project is a history of Soviet health care during the 1960s-1980s.

The lecture series and the international conference "To Mountains From a City: Imagining Carpathians in Arts and Culture" are organized by the Center for Urban History (Ukraine) and the University of St.Gallen (Switzerland).

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