The Women of Ryazan
Olga Preobraienskaja, Ivan Pravov / SUHH, 1927 / 67 min.
The women in the Russian village of Ryazan finally come into their own when their men are called to the front in this tribute to powerful women. With a special recorded score by the Dutch composer Ig Henneman who will introduce the screening.
The Women of Ryazan tells the story of Anna and Wassilissa, sisters-in-law living in the village of Ryazan. The story starts in 1914 just before the outbreak of WWI and focuses on the relationship of Anna with Ivan and Wassilissa with Nikolai. However, once both men are drafted for war, the women's social positions change dramatically; Anna becomes very vulnerable, while Wassilissa becomes more assertive and refuses to be a victim of the circumstances.
Preobrazhenskaya's film builds up psychological tension through a sober and realistic visual narration. This results in beautiful documentary scenes, shot on location. The film was re-distributed in the 1980s by the Dutch feminist film distribution company Cinemien. This screening is a tribute to the Cinemien version which featured a special score written by the Dutch composer Ig Henneman in 1984, who will also attend the screening.
(US, Lois Weber & Phillips Smalley, 1911, Rex Motion Picture Company, 15', 35mm)
The screening will be preceded by the short film The Twins (USA, 1911). This film is written and co-directed by Lois Weber and stars her in the dual role of twin sisters separated at birth. While one sister is adopted by a rich family, the other one grows up to become a poor seamstress. Despite having been preserved within the Desmet Collection for decades, the film had not been fully identified before as one of the lost films from Lois Weber”s oeuvre. Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.
Olga Preobraienskaja, Ivan Pravov