As part of my Konstam residency at the Calvert 22 Café, I'll be teaming up for the second week in a row with Kino Vino's Alissa Timoshkina to present a night of food and film with flavours from eastern Europe and Russia.
We'll be presenting a rare screening of the remarkable Soviet movie The Commissar, a once-banned gem of world cinema about a female officer in the Bolshevik army whose pregnancy forces her to make difficult decisions that will change the course of her life.
Tickets include a welcome drink and snacks created by Oliver and Alissa to accompany the film, and an extended introduction by Dr Alissa Timoshkina.
USSR, 1967, dir. Aleksander Askoldov, 110 mins
Based on a short story by a renowned Soviet-Jewish writer Vasily Grossman, this remarkable film was made during the Soviet New Wave and tells a story of a Red Army commissar who temporarily lodges with a poor Jewish family to give birth in the midst of the Russian Civil War (1917 – 1922). The Commissar is a sensitive and elegiac portrait of a mostly vanished culture, filmed with a unique poetic vision. The film was banned upon its completion and not shown to the public until 1988.
More about the film here.