Photo by Kayla Michaud |CIGAR| Galina Evtushenko came to URI to present her film.
The University of Rhode Island welcomed Russian filmmaker, Galina Evtushenko, to screen her film “Woe to Wit” on Monday, March 26. Her film was a documentary about Vsevelod Meyerhold and Sergei Eistenstein, two artists whose work is recognized around the world. “Woe to Wit” was Evtushenko’s first film dealing with a double portrait or double storyline of two artists.
“Woe to Wit” was broken down into nine segments and gives the audience a deeper insight about Russian history and culture while diving into overlapping stories about Meyerhold and Eistenstein. This film has been shown at various international film festivals in Hungary, India, Germany, Greece, Poland and Sweden. Evstushenko has also been invited to participate in international workshops and forums in Ebeltoft, Israel, Munich and New York.
Evtushenko graduated from Voronezh State University with a degree in Philology. She next received her PhD from the All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography (VGIC). VGIC is considered to be the center in Russia for filmmaking. She is also a Humanities Professor at the Russian State University and lives in Moscow when she’s not traveling. Currently Evtushenko is on a Fulbright trip at SUNY Albany.
After the screening there was an opportunity for audience members to ask Evtushenko questions about her film. When asked if her the use of fast editing was to imitate Eistenstein’s method, Evtushenko explained how this was her own idea. It appears that it was more of a coincidence that both her and Eistenstein made use of the fast editing in their films.
Evtushenko also discussed the topic of Stalinism that was seen in “Woe to Wit” and a shorter film that was shown before “Woe to Wit” started. This topic for her is not so much about Stalin himself but rather the power that comes with his figure.
“It’s not a question about Stalinism,” said Evtushenko. “It’s a question about any power and how the power influences the people, the artist.”
She further explained that people like Stalin are the figures who give artists power to portray them and storylines around their characters in film. Evtushenko expressed that she feels accomplished as a filmmaker when her audience forms a relation to the film or feels something after watching it.
“It [the film] is about me and I hope that it will be a great result if it is a little bit about you because if you feel this is about you then you will feel deeply,” more connected to the story, said Evtushenko.
Since “Woe to Wit” Evtushenko has completed many other documentaries and feature films.