Following Man with a Movie camera in our Cities’ Symphonies series within the VIDEO ART VIDEO program, DOCLAB is proud to present another film on Soviet society by Russian director Alexander Medvedkin, entitled “Happiness”.The screening will takes place at 15:00 Thursday May 27th 2010 at DOCLAB.
Happiness is a delightful slapstick comedy about farm life, before and after the Revolution (1917), full of rich visual invention and eccentricities. Based on folklore but charged with a kind of anti-Bolshevik humor, the film tells a tale of a poor and lazy peasant by the name of Khmyr, who enteres a kolkhoz (collective farm) but doesn’t feel the true power of it and isn’t happy there. For such a peasant, life is hard and full of struggles. Khmyr dreams of becoming a tsar, eating his fill of pork fat and doing nothing (his idea of happiness). The film was banned in Russia for 40 years.
Alexander Ivanovich Medvedkin began his career in the 20s at the Gosvenkino Studios as scenarist and assistant director. He was one of the founders of the famous Cine Train of Bolshevik Russia, which aimed to travel into the hinterlands of Russia, document the lives of peasants and workers and show it back to them in order to make them understand their strengths and weaknesses. Be it public service messages like the importance of hygiene, critical documents about absenteeism, inefficiency and negligence or queries for betterment of living and working conditions, the Cine Train seems to have never hesitated in putting everything that is right and everything that is questionable about a system on the same plane.
The screening is non-profit and aims for studies and research only.
Following the screening is Q&A session.
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