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Echo of Festival: Two Films from the New York Russian Documentary Film Festival and Discussion

Natalia Gorbanevskaya: I am not a Hero

Saturday, March 17, 2:00pm
Members $10, Nonmembers $15
Purchase tickets in advance by calling 978.598.5000 x121 or at the door.

On August 25, 1968, the Russian poet Natalia Gorbanevskaya’s actions changed her life: carrying her three-month-old son, she, with seven like-minded people, protested against the Soviet-led intervention of Czechoslovakia at the Red Square in Moscow. The cost of this action was years of imprisonment. Later, she emigrated from the Soviet Union. Gorbanevskaya – a legend of the dissident movement – was often called a “hero.” However, she has said: “I’m not a hero; I’m just an ordinary person.” Filmmakers Kirill Sakharnov and Ksenia Sakharnova interviewed Natalia Gorbanevskaya over several years to create a nuanced portrait of this revered Poet, Activist, and Citizen.

This film won the “Faces of Russia” prize at the 2017 RusDocFilmFest in New York. Marina Adamovich, the curator of the Festival, will introduce the film and lead a discussion.

Directed by Ksenia Sakharnova and Cyrill Sakharnov, 54 min, 2017. In Russian with English subtitles.


A mythical creature that is half-bird and half-fish, Ptirychka is a nickname for Lina Mkrtchyan, a brilliant Russian contralto known for her astonishing vocal range and immense repertoire spanning seven centuries. This film focuses on Mkrtchyan’s present life, after she gave up an international music career to devote herself solely to sacred music.

Director: Irina Vassilieva, 2013, 26min

RusDocFilmFest is an annual independent documentary film festival in New York organized by The New Review / Novyi Zhurnal, the oldest intellectual literary journal of the Russian-speaking Diaspora. This is a non-political festival that presents films focused on society, culture, and history. The festival reflects the modernity of multi ethnic Russian-speaking world. 150 documentaries from Russia, Europe, and the U.S. have been presented over eight festival years.

Marina Adamovich is a journalist, culturologist, essayist, and expert in the history and culture of Russian immigration in the 20th century. She is editor-in-chief of Novyi Zhurnal (The New Review) an émigré literary journal based in New York, as well as curator of RusDocFilmfest-3W, which is a project of The New Review. For more information, please visit www.newreviewinc.com and www.rusdocfilmfest.org