£10 full price ticket, £8 concession
4-th February 2017, 4-7 pm
Call of the North and Hero City: A screening and talk with artist Ruth Maclennan
Pushkin House in association with Open College of the Arts is pleased to present two recent films by Ruth Maclennan, Call of North and Hero City. The films were shot in the far north of Russia. They were premiered at The London International Film Festival, in 2014 and 2016. Maclennan’s film, Theodosia, made in Crimea was screened at Pushkin House in 2014. After the screening, the artist will be in conversation.
Call of North was filmed near the Arctic Circle in Karelia in Northern Russia, on land and on sea, in the summer and winter. Images of driving snow around a lighthouse by the frozen sea are succeeded by the endless daylight and unceasing florescence of summer. The film brings into focus a particular place – an ordinary place – on the White Sea. It follows people's relationships with the sea, and the changes that are happening with climate change and the geo-political shift northward. The traumatic past of the ‘Zone’ – Stalin's labour camps – and the purges, continue to be experienced as unfinished business, impossible to metabolize. The more recent economic collapse of the end of the Soviet Union, and the increasing political tensions of recent years are alluded to obliquely, hanging in the air.
The matter of place, the wetness and surfaces of the sea and land, the forces of wind and tide are the substances in which the stories, and gestures of people, are caught up in a continual exchange. The soundtrack is a chorus of sounds recorded in the field, of birds, sea, insects, grass, trees and wind, as well as boats, trains and cars, interwoven with the voices of marine biologists, sailors, fishermen, a retired teacher, a kolkhoz worker and miner, a telephone engineer, a cook, a hotelier, a little boy, and many others who live here.