Mikhail Kaufman, In Spring, 1929. Courtesy Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kyiv

Mikhail Kaufman, In Spring, 1929. Courtesy Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kyiv

Mikhail Kaufman, In Spring, 1929. Courtesy Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, Kyiv

In this declaration of love for Kyiv, Kaufman uses a hidden camera for the first time to show the awakening city after winter, with lyrical views of reviving nature acting as a metaphor for the birth of the young proletarian state, full of potency and energy. With In Spring, Kaufman aimed to shoot a film without subtitles that could be more readily understood by the general public.

He devotes the film to the spring, linking it with various life moments, both ordinary and sacred: Easter rituals, sporting events, dances, funerals. Man is shown as the master of nature, and his creative energy is contrasted to that of natural destructive forces. Kaufman did not attempt to deliver an explicitly propagandised plot, desiring instead that the audience draw its own conclusions, however he was unable to avoid agitprop altogether. Through the edit he shows remarkable restraint in delivering the ideological message, contrasting symbols of the new order – shots of sporting events – with those of the old – images of drunkenness.

Kaufman was the brother of Dziga Vertov and cameraman behind his best-known film The Man With a Movie Camera, together they developed the revolutionary aesthetic of cine-eye: cinema as a mechanical eye that shows us the world. Possessing a more subjective view than Vertov, Kaufman was more responsive to what he saw, expressing that responsiveness openly. He was interested in vitalistic rather than mechanistic imagery and in human emotions.

This new restoration of the film is presented in partnership with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.

In Spring, dir: Mikhail Kaufman, 1929. VUFKU Studios Ukraine, DCP, 60min + Q&A. Courtesy Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre.

Presented as part of Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film Weekend, more information about all the films in the series here.

Film Pass Three: Levels of Democracy: Ukraine Film Weekend
Fri 18 – Sun 20 March
£30 Full Price / £25 Concession
Includes entrance to all films in the series. Offer excludes Test Dept live soundtrack, separate tickets available here
Film Passes can only be booked via the Tyneside Cinema Box Office.

In Spring
Mikhail Kaufman

£7.50/£6, book here
Film Pass Three, £30/£25

Sun 20 March, 8.30pm (60min + Q&A)

Tyneside Cinema

10 –12 Pilgrim Street
Newcastle
NE1 6QG
tynesidecinema.co.uk
Box Office 0191 227 5500