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Film Screening: Lullaby

Still from Lullaby

Screening of Dziga Vertov's 1937 film Lullaby (Kolybel'naja) presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Revolution Every Day

FREE, but seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Co-presented by the Film Studies Center and the Smart Museum of Art.


Dziga Vertov developed numerous plans for a film showcasing the achievements of Soviet women in the mid-1930s, at a time that official Soviet policies concerning women were undergoing radical change. For instance, having been legalized to great fanfare in 1920, abortion was prohibited in 1935, and cultural representations began to reinforce conservative, even bourgeois notions of femininity. In this context Vertov’s film about women became a film largely about maternity, about the fertility of Soviet women and the great promise of Soviet children. The fact that this hymn to maternity coincided in time with the Great Terror unleashed by Joseph Stalin—who features prominently in archival footage—makes the film a poignant and troubling document of its dark moment.

Introduced by William Nickell, Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.

(Dziga Vertov, USSR, 1937, 58 min., 35mm print courtesy of the Vertov Collection of the Austrian Film Museum)

About the series

Revolution Every Day: Dziga Vertov in the 1930s

The Film Studies Center and the Smart Museum of Art will present three rarely seen “poetic documentary” films by Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov. The three films comprise a trilogy on the situation of women in the USSR and show Vertov wrestling with the new possibilities of sound documentary. Projected from archival prints from the Austrian Film Museum and with new subtitles, these films will challenge our notions of Vertov as a filmmaker, of Soviet film under Stalin, and of the documentary mode.

The series:

Three Songs about Lenin (1934/1938)
Friday, October 6, 7 pm

Lullaby (1937)
Friday, October 20, 7 pm

The Three Heroines (1938)
Friday, November 10, 8 pm

Image: Dziga Vertov, still from Lullaby (detail), 1937.