A documentary film by Amanda Pope and Tchavdar Georgiev
How does art survive in a time of oppression? During Soviet rule, artists who stayed true to their vision were imprisoned or executed. Their plight inspired the Russian painter, archeologist and collector Igor Savitsky, who daringly rescued 40,000 artworks and created a museum in Uzbekistan’s desert – far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. The Nukus Museum of Art (officially known as The State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, named after I.V. Savitsky) has been described as “one of the most remarkable collections of 20th-century Russian art.” It is located in one of the world’s poorest regions, yet holds paintings that are worth millions today, including those by Russian avant-garde artists.
The Zimmerli Art Museum offers a screening of the film on the Nukus Museum of Art in conjunction with a visit by Savitsky’s successor and the museum’s current director, Marinika Babanazarova. After the film, the audience will have an opportunity to discuss the film with Ms. Babanazarova.
Amanda Pope is an Associate Professor at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Pope received her B.A. from Wellesley College and has a 20-year background in writing, producing, directing and editing documentary, dramatic and advocacy programs. Amanda Pope’s award-winning documentaries include: Jackson Pollock Portrait; Stages: Houseman Directs Lear; and Cities for People, all aired on PBS.
Tchavdar Georgiev is a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and holds an undergraduate degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has edited a number of award-winning fiction and non-fiction films as well as television programming for HBO, PBS, History Channel, National Geographic, Channel 1 Russia, and MTV Russia.
The Desert of Forbidden Art won the CINE Golden Eagle Award and Best Documentary at the Palm Beach International Film Festival and will be broadcast on PBS Independent Lens in 2011. A trailer for the film is available at http://www.desertofforbiddenart.com/
Outline of the event:
5:30 – 6:15pm     Reception
6:15 – 6:20pm     Introduction
6:20 – 7: 40pm    Film screening
7:40 – 8:00pm     Discussion

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