- Valentin Vinogradov
This newly subtitled film is an attempt to save an astonishing tour-de-force from oblivion and restore it to the cinematic history of the Holocaust. The film captures the all-encompassing horror of wartime Belarus, where Germans, ghetto Jews, Communists, and partisans were pitted against each other in a web of paranoia and violence. Echoing Tarkovsky and Parajanov, this forgotten gem of Soviet poetic cinema features Holocaust scenes shot with unparalleled force and artistic vision.
Olga Gershenson is Professor of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is also on the Film Studies faculty. Professor Gershenson earned her BA in Russia, her MA in Israel, and her PhD in the US. Her academic path is as diverse. A multi-disciplinary scholar, her interests lie at the intersection of culture, history, and film. Her first book, Gesher: Russian Theater in Israel (2005), pioneered the study of Russian immigrant cultural production. A series of articles on Russian-Israeli cinema cemented her status as the premier expert in the field. Gershenson’s latest book, The Phantom Holocaust (2013), reveals unknown Holocaust films from the Soviet Union. According to the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies, it “will serve as a foundation for all further research and reflection on the topic.” In her most recent work, she looks at Jewish museums in post-communist Europe, examining the relationship between space, politics, history, and culture. Profiled in Haaretz as the rare academic who “prefers engaging the masses in culture,” she curates film series, consults for festivals, and has a lively lecture schedule at universities, conferences, and museums around the world.
Screening made possible thanks to Belarusfilm Studio. Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.