The theme of this year’s Festival is women’s emancipation, whose rapid development took place in the 1920s, the heyday of silent movies. Spread over ages, but concentrated in a decade of silent movies, the story of an unprecedented campaign of women for their liberation and finding themselves is also a fascinating story of the birth of a new screen sensuality.
The program of the festival features world re-premieres of two Ukrainian films that for a long time were considered lost. Taras Tryasylo by Petro Chardynin, the most expensive film project of the era, was rediscovered only in 1998 in France and has now been restored by Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre. It stars Amvrosiy Buchma and Natalia Uzhviy. The film will be screened to the accompaniment of French jazz musician Thierry Maillard. Mikhail Kaufman’s avant-garde experiment, An Unprecedented Campaign (1931), telling a story of collectivization (industrialization) of a Ukrainian village, was rediscovered by Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre as recently as in 2015, thanks to the new score for the film commissioned by the Centre and written by composer AntonBaibakov. David Griffith’s muse, Lillian Gish, will appear on screen in the American film TheWind (1928) by Swedish director Victor Sjöström, who later played the role of Professor Isak Borg in Bergman’s WildStrawberries (1957). The film will be accompanied by Kyiv New Music Quartet Supremus.
A masterpiece of Chinese psychological cinema, The Goddess (1934), inspired by European social drama of the 1920s, will be accompanied by Belarusian accordionist Yegor Zabelov, who performed triumphantly at Mute Nights in 2014. British silent cinema will be represented by a psychological thriller from a classic Anthony Asquith – A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929), which incorporates avant-garde experiments with editing, a detective story and Hitchcock-scale dramatics. The film will be shown to a soundtrack on electronic percussions performed by Mexican duo Los Jaigüey.
The film Backstairs(1921) is generally considered to mark the beginning of German expressionist cinema. The gloomy imagery of the film is brilliantly accentuated by suggestive acting of Henny Porten, a great actress of the early German cinema. The film will be shown as a tribute to a regular participant of the festival and its mascot Yuriy Kuznetsov, a prominent jazz improviser, whose student Yulia Zaporozhets (Julinoza) will perform the soundtrack for the film.
The titles on the sets of this year’s festival feature names of great actresses of both the East and the West: Ruan Lingyu, Natalia Uzhviy and Lillian Gish, who was chosen to become the face of the 7th Mute Nights.
One of the festival organizers is Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.
With the support of the Ukrainian Film State Agency and the Odesa City Council. Partners of the festival are the British Council in Ukraine, the French Institute, the NGO Samopomich.