Please join the Ukrainian Film Club for a screening of the 1928 film Arsenal, directed by Oleksander Dovzhenko. This screening is part of a series dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Ukrainian National Revolution. Professor Yuri Shevchuk will introduce the film and lead the post-screening discussion.
This is a silent film with English subtitles.
Soviet dictator Stalin superficially and erroneously described Dovzhenko’s silent masterpiece Arsenal as “a true revolutionary romance”. The remark largely predetermined the interpretation of both this film and Dovzhenko’s entire body of work as merely serving the Soviet state and Bolshevik ideology. This screening, the second in the series dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Ukrainian National Revolution of 1917-1920 will highlight and discuss the often misunderstood or plainly missed ambivalent messages of this classic that are deeply subversive and unmistakably nationalist. In his Arsenal Dovzhenko poses a number of burning dilemmas Ukrainians were faced with at the time and yet again confront today: What does it mean to be Ukrainian? Can you be a nationalist and revolutionary at the same time? Why the struggle for liberation from Moscow suffered a crushing defeat?