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Press Release
Screening Schedule
Announcement in Russian

The Pennsylvania-Russia Business Council


A Festival of Russian Films about the Second World War

in association with Mona-Film Company (Moscow),
The Russian State Film Archives, Sovexportfilm,
The Russian Arts Society, Alliance of Veterans of War & Labor,
Northeast Adult Day Care
and sponsored by Comcast Cable

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - In remembrance of the 60th Anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which marked Russia's entrance into World War II (June 22, 1941), a selection of some of the finest Russian films about the Second World War are being presented in the Greater Philadelphia area. The first viewing was held at the AMC Orleans 8 Theatre in Philadelphia on July 29-30, 2001 and included the films Trial on the Road and Dawns Here are Quiet. The second viewing will be held at Northeast Adult Day Care in Philadelphia on September 8-9, 2001.

The two films selected for this second viewing - Ballad of a Soldier & My Name is Ivan - are especially prized in Russia as being part of the national cultural heritage and provide unparalleled insights into the Russian experience of the war. Made in the USSR between the l950s through the l970s, these films lack the spectacular special effects and glossy production of Hollywood films. The Russian films focus on the human and personal dimension of war and reflect why World War II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. In bringing these venerable works to the U.S., Russian filmmakers are making a spiritual offering to the American people.

World War II continues to capture the imagination of people of all ages. The benefits of such retrospection are self-evident but, as noted by First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Filmmakers Union, Dmitri Piorunsky, "War must not be reduced just to an enjoyable aesthetic experience. War is not only a societal catastrophe, but also a very painful personal tragedy for each individual. That is what the films selected for this festival are about."

* * * * *

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Cable is a division of Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com), a developer, manager and operator of broadband cable networks and provider of programming content. Comcast Cable is the third largest cable company in the United States. Providing basic cable, digital cable, high speed internet services, Comcast Cable is the company to look to first for the communications products and services that connect people to what's important in their lives. Incorporating pending cable transactions, the company's approximately 18,000 cable division employees will serve more than 8.4 million customers in six geographic regions.

Screening Schedule

July 29 & 30, 2001

AMC Orleans 8 Theatre
2247 Bleigh Street, Philadelphia

Sunday, July 29, 2001
10:00 a.m.
PROVERKA NA DOROGAH (Trial on the Road)
1971, directed by Alexei German, 97 minutes
Finding himself a POW, an apparently German soldier tries to convince his Russian captors that he is actually one of them, going as far as to prove a hero on the battlefield. Perhaps for its spectacularly defiant refusal to draw the usual hero/villain lines, this film upon completion was banned and shelved for 15 years.

Monday, July 30, 2001
10:00 a.m.
A ZORI ZDES' TIHIE (Dawns Here are Quiet)
1972, directed by Stanislav Rostotsky, 190 minutes
A three-hour-plus adaptation of Boris Vasiliev's best-selling lyrical novel about an all-female regiment caught in the middle of a much larger operation than the one they were slated for. A combination of a deeply Russian martyrdom motif with an unmistakably Western "band of outsiders" streak gives the film an enduring popularity.

Sunday & Monday July 29-30, 2001
10:00 a.m.
A Walt Disney cartoon. Donald Duck's darkest nightmare - being persecuted by the Nazis. Produced specially for the USSR to be used in war-time anti-fascist propaganda.

September 8-9, 2001

Northeast Adult Day Care
11048 Rennard Street, Philadelphia

Saturday, September 8, 2001
11:00 a.m.
IVANOVO DETSTVO (Ivan's Childhood, aka My Name Is Ivan)
1962, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, 96 minutes
Tarkovsky's tale of a soldier-boy martyr is laced with outrage at the general idea of violence, a unique stance for a Soviet war film. The director's feature-length debut, Ivan's Childhood shows all the hallmarks of his later body of work, from signature visuals to the overarching sense of moral anguish.

Sunday, September 9, 2001
11:00 a.m.
BALLADA O SOLDATE (Ballad of a Soldier)
1959, directed by Grigori Chukhrai, 85 minutes
In this minimalist World War II film, the war remains largely off screen. This device, echoing Greek tragedy, colors every moment of the simple story tracing the journey of a private to see his mother. This film received several festival awards including one at Cannes.

For more information please contact Val Kogan, PRBC President at phone: (215) 708-2628, email: prbc@att.net or visit the PRBC website at: www.fita.org/prbc

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