Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




The Lost Petition – Film Screening

This event was held virtually on Zoom.

Please join the Ukrainian Film Club at Columbia University for the inaugural event of its seventeenth academic year: a screening of the 1972 film The Lost Petition, directed by Borys Ivchenko. Professor Yuri Shevchuk will introduce the film and lead the discussion.

Inspired by the Mykola Hohol (a.k.a. Nikolai Gogol) short story, this heroic comedy takes place in 18th century Ukraine. Two Cossacks, Vasyl and Andrii, set out on a surreal journey to St. Petersburg, Russia. Charged by the Hetman of Ukraine to deliver a letter to the tsarina, they go through thick and thin in order to accomplish their dangerous mission and safely return home. On the way, they demonstrate miracles of resourcefulness, overcome countless challenges, and cheat the devil himself. The iconic actor Ivan Mykolaichuk plays the lead role. Shot when the Soviet regime launched a new campaign of repression against Ukrainian dissidents, better known as the sixtiers, the film resorts to Aesopian language to push the limits of national self-expression imposed by a colonial regime in the final stages of its existence.