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Chicago Premiere: Finding Babel
Chicago Premiere: Finding BabelSunday, January 29, 2017 - 2:00 pm
Perhaps the best proof of the relevance of historical dramas—Pravda
Winner, Special Jury Prize—Moscow Jewish Film Festival
Exquisite—Vitaly Mansky, President, Artdocfest
Gains in power, insight, and urgency as it journeys—Village Voice
Makes you want to read Babel's writing—New York Times
Isaac Babel was a Russian short-story writer whose works, translated into many languages, exemplify the achievement of Russia’s literary avant-garde. His writings are subversive masterpieces that challenged the ideology of the early Soviet Union, resulting in his arrest and execution in 1940.
In Finding Babel, his grandson, theater professor Andrei Malaev-Babel, pieces together the story of the grandfather he never knew. He travels across Ukraine and Russia amid remnants of their turbulent history and the rise of modern-day conflicts to learn the truth about Babel’s execution at the hands of Stalin’s regime.
Andrei Malaev-Babel introduced the film and led a post-show discussion. Malaev-Babel is Adjunct Associate Professor of Theater, Humanities, and Interdisciplinary Programs at New College Florida. As the former Producing Artistic Director for the Stanislavsky Theater Studio, he directed productions at the Kennedy Center and National Theater in Washington, DC. He was joined by David Novack for a Q&A with the audience.
David Novack is the Director, Co-Producer, and Co-Writer of Finding Babel. He won the prestigious IDA Pare Lorentz Award for Social Documentary Filmmaking for his film Burning the Future: Coal in America. His film Kimjongilia, a documentary about North Korean refugees that premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, won the Best Human Rights Documentary Award from the One World Brussels Film Fest.
A Note From David Novack
"In an age where conflict has once again arisen in the battle-torn lands of Ukraine, where journalists are executed in a Paris office or beheaded in the Syrian Desert, where artists and writers face threats, arrest, or even torture in countless authoritarian nations — Babel's pen draws a line of continuity through history. It reminds us of the danger of unlimited power and the suffering of the common person in any conflict."