March 14, 15*, 17, 18, 21, 22
Cinematheque, 100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg
Co-directors Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev spent six years uncovering the story of an obsessed art collector named Igor Savitsky who spent years amassing a treasure trove of banned avant garde Russian artworks now worth millions, rescuing them from under beds and in dusty old closets. The Desert of Forbidden Art tells a compelling story of how these artworks were saved with stunning examples of the artworks and interviews with relatives of the artists.
"Viewers of this remarkable documentary will be astonished at not only what this art looks like, and why it is fobidden, but also where it is and how it got there. The "where" is Nukus, an independent republic inside Uzbekistan that is every bit as remote as it sounds. Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists which is intercut with remarkable archival footage. These art works are "so staggering that Stephen Kinzer, former New York Times central Asia bureau chief remembers that, 'it didn't take me more than a few minutes of walking around this museum for my jaw to drop'" - Los Angeles Times
* Thursday, March 15,
introduction by Myroslav Shkandrij
Dr. Shkandrij will introduce the film on Thursday, March 15 at 7pm and speak on the importance of the post-revolutionary avant-garde, when and why it was suppressed and how it has gradually been rediscovered.
Myroslav Shkandrij has taught Slavic Studies at the University of Manitoba, Department of German and Slavic Studies since 1987. He has published in modern Ukrainian and Russian literature, avant-garde art, and Ukrainian-Jewish relations, as well as curating two travelling exhibitions of art.
"A Gorgeous Documentary"
- New York Times
"A Must See Film for Anyone Interested in Art"
- Village Voice
THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART
by Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev
2010 / Russia, USA & Uzbekistan / 80 min.
(English and Russian w/ English sub-titles)