National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre presents the film Provocateur (1927), restored in 2011, within the retrospective of the silent films featuring Anna Sten at the festival in Pordenone (Italy).
Le Giornate del Cinema Muto di Pordenone (Pordenone Silent Film Festival) is the world's largest festival of silent cinema. Launched in 1982 as a measure intended to raise the morale of the victims of a devastating earthquake in the Friuli region, it soon became the world's largest gathering of film archivists and scholars.
This year the festival will present a full retrospective of the silent films featuring the star of the Soviet, European and American cinema Anna Sten.
Born in Kiev in 1908 as Anna Fesak, she became a known Soviet star after such films as Girl with a box (1927), Provocateur (1927), and Earth in captivity (1927). In 1927 Stan married an outstanding film director Fedor Otsep and traveled with him to Germany to take part in a Soviet-German coproduction. The couple decided not to return to the USSR. In Germany Stan became a popular actress due to her work in the films Murderer Dmitrii Karamazov (1931), A Bomb over Monte Carlo (1931) and Fire of Passion (1932), featuring her along with Emil Yannings. Highly praised for dramatic performance in these films by Samuel Goldwyn, Stan received from him an invitation to Hollywood, where she played in 3 of her highest-grossing movies – Nana, We Live Again (both in 1934) and The Wedding Night (1935), starring Gary Cooper. The image of a rustic Eastern European immigrant, which Goldwyn chose for Stan, was not likely to please American audiences, so the actress, who was called the second Greta Garbo, rapidly lost popularity. In the wake of pro-Soviet sympathies, she still often appeared on screens during the 1940s, but in the 1950s and 1960s she only got occasional supporting roles. Thus, Stan dedicated herself to art and had several exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.
Anna Sten was known as one of the most stylish actresses of her time.
The retrospective will include silent movies in which the actress starred – Girl with a box, (1927), Provocateur (1927), Earth in captivity (1927), My Son (1928), White Eagle (1928), Accountant Kremko (1930), Fire of Passion (1932). The film My Son, which has long been considered lost, was found in 2008 in the archives of the Cinema Museum in Buenos Aires. On proposition of the National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre it will be presented in public for the second time.
Provocateur by the famous Ukrainian film director Victor Turin (known due to the avant-garde masterpiece Turksib) is the only film starring Anna Sten created in Ukraine (at the Yalta Film Studios). It was not mentioned in the actress’s biography for a long time. In 2011 it was restored by the National Dovzhenko Film Studios. On October 12, the remastered version of the film will be screened within Anna Sten’s retrospective at the Verdi Theater in Pordenone.