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  • An old man and a young boy sit and talk together.

Mark Donskoy’s


Monday, May 6

(1938) “A film tapestry of country life in Czarist Russia, this is one of the warmest, richest, noblest films in all cinema. The narrative seems loosely constructed: each section of the film is preceded by a quotation from its source, My Childhood, the first volume of Gorky's autobiography. But for every passage, the film captures thousands of images, occasions, and even smells, fresh-frozen in youth; seasoned and balanced in retrospect.... Director Mark Donskoy fabricates a milieu which defies theatricism, and which supports the solidest and most fabulous characters imaginable. Alexei (young Gorky)'s grandmother (magnificently played by Varvara Massalitinova) is a smiling, huge woman who can still dance the hopak, and who is the family's source of strength. She and a messianic young worker at the family dye works are Alexei's islands of love in an ocean of cruelty; and the jealousy, the poverty of mind, the madness of Alexei's uncles and grandfather epitomize the barren confinement of rural isolation and despair. At the age of decision, Alexei vows escape. Not yet a revolutionary, he sets off ‘to life.'” – David Shepard. 35mm. Approx. 98 min.

Part three of Mark Donskoy’s Maxim Gorky Trilogy.

MY APPRENTICESHIP (part two) screens Sunday, May 5 at 3:00 and Monday, May 6 at 2:30.

MY UNIVERSITIES (part three) screens Sunday, May 5 at 5:10 and Monday, May 6 at 4:30.


Film Forum