The Three Heroines

Introduced by Robert Bird

Friday, November 10, 2017, 8:00pm - 8:00pm

As part of "Revolution Every Day," the Film Studies Center and the Smart Museum of Art present screenings of three rare Dziga Vertov films from 35mm prints from the Austrian Film Museum.

In September 1938, three female aviators set off from a Moscow airfield for Khabarovsk in the Soviet Far East with the intention of setting a women’s long-distance record. Having lost radio contact, the plane put down in an isolated swamp. A massive search operation located the airplane (called “The Motherland”) after ten days and brought the women back to Moscow, where they arrived to a heroines’ welcome. Having failed to secure permission to film the flight, Vertov and Svilova reconstructed it using models, animation, and documentary footage shot entirely in Moscow. Of particular interest are the long takes with synchronous sound that convey the suspense of the search and rescue. The screening includes never-before-seen outtakes from the film.

(Dziga Vertov and Elizaveta Svilova, USSR, 1938, 54 min., 35mm print courtesy of the Austrian Film Museum) 

Robert Bird is Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Department of Cinema and Media Studies, and the College. He is the author of Russian Prospero (2006), a comprehensive study of the poetry and thought of Viacheslav Ivanov. He is also the author of two books on the filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky and a biography of author Fyodor Dostoevsky. His translations of Russian religious thought include On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader (1998) and Viacheslav Ivanov's Selected Essays (2001).

Co-presented by the Smart Museum of Art in conjunction with "Revolution Every Day," on exhibit Sept. 14, 2017 – Jan. 14, 2018.