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A Severe Young Man (PG*) + intro by Marek Pytel

Generations: Russian Cinema of Change

A Severe Young Man

An improbable love triangle set in the 1930s, when the new communist ideology was sharpening its ideas.

A young communist, Grisha, falls in love with a woman married to a rich, world-famous surgeon. Written by one of the great Soviet modernist writers, Yury Olesha, the love triangle brings bourgeois and communist ideologies into collision – exploring what it is to be young in a new society.

Banned for deviating from socialist realism and discovered only in the '60s, this unconventional film veers towards the surreal at times. Chiselled communist athletes laze before classical statues and architecture, discussing the new morals set by the Soviet Revolution.

Vilnus-born Abram Room was a founding father of Soviet Cinema along with the likes of Eisenstein, Kuleshov. Whereas his early works were driven by the avant-garde, his later films move towards more conventionally formed narrative, offering profoundly insight on social change.

Soviet Union 1935 Dir Abram Room 100 min

*This film has been locally classified by the City of London Corporation

Presented in partnership with New East Cinema, a cultural collective bringing contemporary cinema from eastern Europe and beyond to the UK.

This season is part of our 2018 season The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect, and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

About the speaker

Marek Pytel studied film at the Slade School of Fine Art and curated the first BFI screenings to introduce Soviet formalist cinema of the 1920’s. Pytel is the author of New Babylon, Trauberg, Kozintsev, Shostakovich (1999) and has produced live screen music events at venues both in UK and abroad, including the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Cité de la Musique Paris, Queen Elizabeth Hall, National Film Theatre, BFI IMAX, The Sydney Opera House and collaborating with Stephen Coates, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, among others.


Part of The Art of Change

Our 2018 season explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Barbican Cinema 1