2022 marks the centenary of Ukrainian feature filmmaking. This season assembles six masterworks of Ukrainian cinema, all canonised by the Dovzhenko Centre (the Ukrainian national film archive in Kyiv) and includes three landmark titles from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic era (1922–91) – all of which were at ideological odds with the official doctrines of their times – and three from the 21st century. Also included are remarkable “silent” films from both eras. Each night, this program pairs a production from the USSR era with a post-Maidan (2013–14) title. Essential works by Alexander Dovzhenko, Sergei Parajanov and Kira Muratova, produced respectively at All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration (VUFKU), Dovzhenko Film Studios and the Odesa Film Studio, precede a celebrated film from Ukraine’s remarkable present-day cohort of filmmakers, represented by Valentyn Vasyanovych, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi and Roman Bondarchuk.
These latter-day films, as wildly varying in aesthetic approach and strategy as those of their Soviet-era forebears, all speak urgently to the harsh realities – and bizarre surreality – of life in contemporary Ukraine. 2022 also marks 100 years since the foundation of VUFKU, and a portion of proceeds from this season will be donated to a fundraiser for the Dovzhenko Centre, whose activities, inclusive of the restoration of VUFKU’s extraordinary but only partly-preserved output from 1922–30, are imperilled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.
Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven.