Remembering the Second World War through Russian and


Remembering the Second World War through Russian and
4-8 May 2015
Palais des Nations
Room XIV (Cinema), A Building, 1st floor - Door 17
Remembering the Second World War
through Russian and Belarusian cinema
Michael Møller
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Alexey Borodavkin
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation
to the United Nations Office
and other international organizations in Geneva
Mikhail Khvostov
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus
to the United Nations Office
and other international organizations in Geneva
have the pleasure to invite you to the opening of a Russian and
Belarusian film festival on the theme of the Second World War
on Monday 4 May 2015 at 12:15 p.m.
The festival is organized in collaboration with
and will feature the screenings of the following films:
The Brest fortress on Monday 4 May 2015 at 1 p.m.
Fate of a Man on Tuesday 5 May 2015 at 12 p.m.
White Tiger on Tuesday 5 May 2015 at 3 p.m.
Stalingrad on Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 12 p.m.
They fought for their country on Wednesday 6 May 2015 at 3 p.m.
The cranes are flying on Thursday 7 May 2015 at 12 p.m.
In the fog on Thursday 7 May 2015 at 3 p.m.
The Brest fortress on Friday 8 May 2015 at 12:30 p.m.
All films will feature English subtitles.
All attendees who do not have a UN badge are kindly requested to register at
[email protected] before 30 April indicating the movie(s) they will attend.
Invitation valid for two people. Please bring a photo identification with you.
No parking available for non-accredited vehicles.
Palais des Nations - 8-14, Avenue de la paix - Geneva 10
The Cranes Are Flying, 1957, directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. It was well
received beyond the Soviet Union winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film
Festival in 1958 and several other awards worldwide. A special credit was given to
the camerawork by Sergey Urusevskiy, appreciated, among others, by Pablo
Picasso and Claude Lelouch. The performance of the lead actress, the beautiful
Tatiana Samoilova, was highly acclaimed by critics.
Central to the film is a tragic story of an ordinary couple torn apart forever.
It uses emotional power to illustrate people’s lives that were disrupted by war and
touches upon the ideas of love, faith, moral obligations that subsist in these drastic
Fate of a Man, 1959, directed by Sergey Bondarchuk. Fate of a Man was a
debut in filmmaking for Academy Award-winning director Sergei Bondarchuk.
Following its international release in 1961, two years after production, the New
York Times called it “a genuine eye-opener to film-critic curmudgeons who
believed that Russian filmmakers, while brilliant in assembling propaganda pieces,
were lacking in humanity and emotionalism”. The film won the Grand Prix of the
Moscow International Film Festival in 1959.
Triumph Over Violence, 1965, directed by Mikhail Romm. Being a
documentary based on Nazi archives, the film brilliantly depicts the horrors of a
fascist regime in its extreme abuse of human rights. It represents a strong warning
for the future generations against any forms of fascism, violence and racial
discrimination. The film won the Special Prize of the Jury during the Leipzig DOK
Festival in 1965.
They Fought for Their Country, 1975, directed by Sergey Bondarchuk.
The film is based on a novel by 1965 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Mikhail
Sholokhov. The plot shows the Soviet troops defending their country in a desperate
situation against an overpowering enemy. With soldiers trying to maintain a sense
of dignity, cheering each other in a horrifying situation, the film promotes
humanitarian values. It was nominated at the Cannes Film Festival (1975) and the
Chicago International Film Festival (1975).
White tiger, 2012, directed by Karen Shakhnazarov. A recent film by a
well-known Russian director, who was willing to make a tribute to his father who
was a Soviet soldier and fought in World War II. It demonstrates an interpretation
of the war, focusing on tank battles, and following a personal story of a tank pilot
with a touch of mystique. In 2012 it was distinguished by a Golden Eagle Award
from the Russian National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
The Brest Fortress, 2010, directed by Alexander Kott. The film shows the
heroic defense of the Brest Fortress, which had taken upon the first strike of fascist
invaders on June 22 1941. Story describes the events of the first days of the
defense. Many years later veteran Alexander Akimov again and again recalls the
memories of the time, when he, then a 15 year old Sasha Akimov suddenly found
himself in the middle of the bloody events of war. The plot follows the events as
closely to historical fact as possible, and the Brest Fortress Museum supervised the
plot thoroughly. The film won three Nika Awards in 2011.
In the Fog, 2012, directed by Sergei Loznitsa, based on a novel by Vasil
Bykov, a revered Belarusian author who fought in the Red Army in World War II.
The action is set in 1942 on the territory of Belarus occupied by the Nazis. A man
is wrongly accused of collaboration. Desperate to save his dignity, he faces
impossible moral choice. This film represents ‘a mysterious, compelling and grim
story from the Nazi-Occupied Soviet Union in 1942, shrouded in the fog of war,
the fog of fear and the fathomless fog of European history’ (The Guardian). In the
Fog was awarded FIPRESCI Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and competed
for the Palme d'Or. The film won the Golden Apricot at the 2012 Yerevan
International Film Festival, Armenia, for Best Feature Film.

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