RACC’s film festivals are the only international forums presenting films by Russian émigré filmmakers in the U.S. and around the world, with a focus on the immigrant experience and the search for a new cultural identity, while celebrating their artistic achievements in film media. The 7th Diaspora & Israeli Russian Film Festival explore the turmoil of the 20th century, the themes of the Holocaust, immigration, the fate of artist under dictatorship, 6-Day War and its impact on the Jewish emigration from the former Soviet Union, and community matters.
THE UNKNOWN HOLOCAUST
1:00 PM | Holocaust. The Eastern Front by Boris Maftsir
Israel 2016 | 95 min | Documentary |Russian and Hebrew with English, Hebrew, and Russian subtitles | USA Premiere
In cooperation with “NonstopMedia” (Belarus)
For ideological and political reasons, the Soviet Union did not recognize the unique tragedy of the Holocaust. Thus, documentation, research or memorials were not attainable. It was as if the Holocaust of Soviet Jews never existed, and disappeared from collective memory. The second, after Guardian of Remembrance, which was so heartily accepted at our 2016 Festival, this chapter of The Unknown Holocaust focuses on people and locations that are surprising and moving. The film takes us from Pushkin to Lubbovichi to Rostov, as well as to the Caucasus region where the Jews of Nalchik amazingly survived.
3:00 PM | Participate and Win by Semyon Pinkhasov
USA 2017 | 47 min | Documentary | Russian, with English subtitles | World Premiere
Born in the Soviet Union in 1924, Leonid Kogan began to play violin at the age of six. When he was nine years old, his violin teacher said to the boy's parents that their son was too good for him. The same year Leonid was sent to Moscow to study violin at the music school for gifted children.
Kogan’s talent so blossomed that in 1951 the Soviet government sent him to a prestigious competition in Brussels with the demand of Stalin to win. There he took the first prize, and from this moment Kogan's career took off. For 30 years he was recognized among the best in the world. But suddenly his fame came to an abrupt halt. His large family, after his death, emigrated from the SU, and for several generations continues to maintain a musical profession. In 2017, the Leonid Kogan International Competition of Young Violinists was created in Brussels.
Q&A with Semyon Pinkhasov and Nina Kogan, daughter of Leonid Kogan
COMMUNITY MATTERS - teenagers are welcome!
4:00 PM | Igor and the Cranes' Journey by Evgeny Ruman
Israel 2012 | 90 min | Drama | Hebrew, with English subtitles
Igor and Cranes’ Journey touches the core of the migration experience: dealing with new surroundings and a new language but above all coming to terms with oneself. It is a test of personality and character - some pass it, others fail, but no one stays the same as before. This is a charming and moving story about the way a young boy deals with problems that even grownups fail to solve and actually succeeds in a very unconventional way in our modernized world – by connecting to the world of nature. I hope that Igor’s adventure will appeal not only to children, but also to their parents.
5:40 PM | Apollonia by Ofir Trainin
Israel 2014 | 64 min | Documentary, Hebrew and Russian with English subtitles
The portrait of journalist Victor Grayevsky, who entered the pantheon of Israeli intelligence thanks to a single courageous and heroic action: he received a copy of the speech of Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, before immigrating to Israel. After his death, it was discovered that he was a double agent.
Apollonia follows the history of this mysterious character, and also offers hints and ideas not only in the past, but also in what may be secretly these days, as the Cold War is heating up again.
6:45 PM | Book Talk: The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973
A conversation with Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez (Truman Institute of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), authors of Foxbats Over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War and The Soviet-Israeli War of 1967-1973 (Hurst / Oxford University Press, 2017).
Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez, award-winning journalists and historians, are fellows of the Truman Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They will discuss their groundbreaking study, just released in America by Oxford University Press. Relying among other sources on the memoirs of Soviet veterans who took part in the fighting, Ginor and Remez reveal how Israel’s six-day victory in 1967 became a six-year, head-on clash with the USSR. At its peak during the 1969-1970 War of Attrition, some 50,000 Soviet servicemen battled Israeli forces along the Suez Canal – turning it into the hottest front of the Cold War. They forced Israel to accept a disadvantageous ceasefire, which in turn enabled Egypt’s cross-canal offensive on Yom Kippur of 1973 with full Soviet collusion. With these findings, Ginor and Remez challenge a series of long-accepted notions and reshape our understanding of this pivotal chapter in regional and global history, which is now being replayed by present-day Russia's forceful reentry into the Middle East.
Curator Regina Khidekel
RACC’s programs and events are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Cojeco.
The Russian American Cultural Center, 520 East 76 Street # 7E, New York, NY 10021.