Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

The film poster for Anna Narinskaya's "Find A Jew."



Film Screening & Discussion. Find a Jew
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Important Note

Registration required. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community.  To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events.  Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues.  

Please join the Harriman Institute for a film screening of Find a Jew. A discussion of the film with the author, Anna Narinskaya, will follow. Moderated by Mark Lipovetsky.

The phenomenon of the Soviet Jew is not quite perceptible. Jews were called “the main mystery of the USSR”. How could they remain Jews without generally keeping to their religion, language, and traditions, and often willing to adopt new traditions? Anna Narinskaya, a prominent culture expert and journalist, who grew up in a “non-Jewish Jewish family”, talks to the witnesses of the epoch, her friends and relatives, anthropologists and researchers of popular culture. And as a result of her search she finds herself in a very, very strange place.

Anna Narinskaya is a Russian journalist, curator, documentary filmmaker and playwright. She has worked in Russia’s most influential media since the late nineties, notably as a special correspondent for Kommersant newspaper, covering cultural and social issues, and as a literary editor. After Russia annexed Crimea, censorship intensified and the media, linked to the state and big money, could no longer afford freedom of expression. Narinskaya then moved to fully independent media. She worked at «Novaya Gazeta” daily and the Dozhd TV channel. At the same time, she began curating exhibitions. Her best known projects include: “200 hits a minute. Typewriter and consciousness of the 20th century”, (Moscow, 2015.Winner of Intermuseum Prize), “Last address. Commemorating repressions in today’s Russia”, (Moscow 2018, Berlin 2019). “Find a Jew. Soviet Jews as a social and cultural Phenomenon”,  (Moscow, 2020 Short listed for Innovation Prize), Museum of Joseph Brodsky (St Petersburg 2020, short listed for Art Newspaper Prize). Anna Narinskaya is author of documentaries: “Find a Jew. In Search of Hidden Identity in the USSR”(2022), “Rock, Paper, Scissors. Film about Books and Freedom” (2023). In the summer of 2022, after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Anna Narinskaya left the country. She now lives in Berlin. In December 2022, her play “The Last Word” (about women-political prisoners in today’s Russia) was premiered on the stage of the Gorki Theatre in Berlin.