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George Eastman Museum to present benefit film screening in solidarity with the people of Ukraine on April 3

Pay-what-you-will donations to benefit ROC Maidan and Ukrainian Film Archive

Rochester, NY, March 25, 2022—The George Eastman Museum will present a benefit film screening on Sunday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. In Spring (Navesni; Vesnoi, Mikhail Kaufman, USSR [Ukraine] 1929, 65 min., 35mm) is a seminal work of Ukrainian cinema as well as a hymn to the miracle of life. The fact that it was filmed in and around Kyiv makes it particularly poignant today. The silent film was directed by filmmaker Mikhail Kaufman and will be accompanied by Dr. Philip C. Carli on piano. 

One of the pioneers of documentary film, Kaufman is mostly known today as the cinematographer who worked with the great experimental filmmaker Dziga Vertov, his older brother. Kaufman was the eye in Vertov’s Kino-Eye and the man with a movie camera in Man with a Movie Camera—more than enough to secure a place in film history. Yet, Kaufman’s perception of cinema was deeply personal and humane; he felt that Vertov was enraptured with the technical side of filming and editing. During the making of Man with a Movie Camera, the brothers had a falling out, and Kaufman created his own film, partially using the same footage. In Spring became one of the masterpieces of poetic cinema. “Kaufman’s snail is as beautiful as Greta Garbo and the ants battling for the cocoon is perceived as a tragedy,” wrote one of the critics. 

Tickets may be purchased at the Dryden Theatre; admission is pay as you will. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the people of Ukraine via ROC Maidan and to assist the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, the Ukrainian film archive in Kyiv, in protecting the Ukrainian cultural heritage. 

The Dryden Theatre will continue to highlight the cinematic heritage of Ukraine in May with a series of screenings. 

In addition, the museum is currently exhibiting in its Potter Peristyle three posters from its collection from 1930s Ukrainian films that reflect multiple layers of Ukrainian history and culture.