The “Music with Aleksey Munilov” series in the “Children’s Pioner” lecture series will begin with one of the best-known films by composer Oleg Karavaychuk – “Black Chicken, or Underground People.” The first full-length film by director Viktor Gres went into wide release and was recognized by both Soviet and European film festivals.
St. Petersburg, at the end of the 18th century. Alyosha Lansky’s parents, as befitted the nobility of the time, send him to a private boarding school. Unaccustomed to discipline and strict punishments, Alyosha finds a comrade in unhappiness – Chernushka the chicken, awaiting his time. As thanks for saving Chernuska from the butcher’s knife, Alyosha receives a hemp seed from the ruler of the underground people. With its help, all the knowledge in the world is available to the boy – but only until he discovers a secret. Now, the underground people face banishment, and he himself faces a severe punishment.
A screen adaptation of the first uniquely Russian folktale, written by Antony Pogorelsky in 1829, surprisingly accurately communicates the feeling of Imperial Russia of the 18th century. A dream of a fairy-tale world, in which there is a place for monarchical power, but not for military order; the enlarged feeling of guilt for one’s actions and the fear before punishment. The stylized music of Oleg Karavaychuk, as performed by Tallinn ensemble Hortus Musicus, is superimposed on the wandering, uncertain movements of the camera, giving the sense of a childish nervousness and hope for a miracle.
After a break, a teacher from the TsEKh School of Contemporary Dance will work with the children.
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