In Spring (1929): A Kyiv symphony

When I am not on duty at Silent London, I write for less prestigious outfits. Speaking of which, I have a monthly column in Sight and Sound – have done for a year now. I use this column mostly to talk about the places where young cinema and old cinema meet. My last column was a little different. It’s about the most moving cinema experience I had all year: watching Mikhail Kaufman’s In Spring (1929) at the Tromsø Stumfilmdager with live music from Ukrainian musicians Roksana Smirnova on piano and Misha Kalinin on electric guitar.

I thought you might like to read it.

Even if you’ve not been to the city, you’ll know many of the streets by now. The news is filled with images of Kyiv. Of the city’s infrastructure shattered, of the resilient faces of Ukrainians ready to defend and rebuild their world. It’s impossible not to be moved by these scenes – families torn apart, lives lost and a city centre transformed into a theatre of war, where homes are newly vulnerable to violent attack, and to the elements.

In 1929, a film shot in those same streets, showing the people of the city rallying for a new start, provoked uncontrollable feelings of happiness…

Read more on the Sight and Sound website.

Here are a few more of my Long Take columns that touch on silent cinema.

Titanic efforts

The feminine west

Great footage

Veggie tales

New York stories

• Catch up with more of my writing elsewhere, my publications and my in-person events, here on my portfolio site.

More on my Arctic adventures in Tromsø here.

•Silent London will always be free to all readers. If you enjoy checking in with the site, including reports from silent film festivals, features and reviews, please consider shouting me a coffee on my Ko-Fi page.

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