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Film Screening: The Three Heroines

Still from Three Heroines

North American premiere of the 1938 Dziga Vertov film The Three Heroines (Tri Geroini), 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.


ASEEES Reception

Attendees of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies convention are invited to a special pre-screening reception at the Smart Museum. 


The Three Heroines (Tri Geroini)

On 24 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, Dziga Vertov and Elizaveta 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. To be followed by never-before-seen outtakes from the film.

Introduced by Robert Bird, Professor, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Cinema and Media Studies.

(Dziga Vertov and Elizaveta Svilova, USSR, 1938, 54 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 and Ekaterina Svilova, still from The Three Heroines (detail), 1938.

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