Tue 15 Mar


Cert. tbc

Classics, Special Screenings


85 mins

In Russian with EN subs

USSR | 1966 | dir. Larisa Shepitko, with Maya Bulgakova, Zhanna Bolotova, Panteleimon Krymov

Introduced by Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw, and Dr. Rachel Morley of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London.

All box office receipts for this screening will be donated to With Ukraine, a special fund to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine’s civilian population established by the Embassy of Ukraine in the UK.
During the Second World War, Nadezhda flew daring combat missions as a pilot. Now, she struggles to adapt to post-war life: dissatisfied as a headteacher, hapless in romance, drifting apart from her daughter, and haunted by a lost love. Can she make peace with a world that is shifting beneath her feet? Larisa Shepitko’s deft exploration of generational conflict and the burdens of the past established her as the Soviet Union’s most celebrated female director.

Tue 15 March 6.20pm

This screening of Larisa Sheptiko‘s Wings was originally part of a ‘Soviet Sixties’ season, alongside five other Russian- and Armenian-language films. In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have cancelled the season.

However, we are hosting the screening of Wings to raise money for With Ukraine. All box office receipts will be donated directly and we thank Criterion and Institut Francais for their support.

As importantly, we are championing the work of Larisa Shepitko. Because she was Ukrainian, her work is an important part of the cultural heritage of the country now under assault. Born in the north-east of the Donetsk province, her first years were lived under war, and her birthplace is now at the epicentre of Ukraine’s fight for sovereignty. Shepitko studied in Moscow under the foremost poet of Ukrainian cinema, Oleksandr Dovzhenko. Wings, her first feature film after graduation, is set in the Crimean peninsula. Although her films, including Wings, and in common with most Soviet productions, were written and performed in Russian, her Ukrainian identity and her profound understanding of the true impact of war were at the heart of her creative practice.

As Shepitko once wrote: “To me, the war was one of the most powerful early impressions. I remember the feeling of life upset, the family separated. I remember hunger and how our mother and us, the three children, were evacuated. The impression of a global calamity certainly left an indelible mark in my child’s mind.” It is in this spirit that we show this film now.

All proceeds from the sale of tickets for this screening will be donated to With Ukraine.

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