On May 14, 2024, the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine organized the presentation of two book editions of the scientist of our Institute, chief researcher of the Department of Theory and History of Political Science, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Yuriy Shapoval. These editions are dedicated to researching the art and life path of the writer and film director Oleksandr Dovzhenko.

The first book is “Unforgiven”. Oleksandr Dovzhenko and the communist special services”. This unique publication was published in 2022 in Warsaw under the auspices of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Our Institute has fruitfully cooperated with this scientific institution headed by the well-known Polish researcher Professor Grzegorz Motyka for many years.

The second, two-volume edition, entitled “Olexandr Dovzhenko”, was published by the Kharkiv Folio publishing house.

The scientist processed unique, previously unavailable documents and materials of the Soviet special services, which from 1928 until the end of Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s life in 1956 were constantly monitoring the artist, recording his every step, his moods, plans, his activities, and in his closest circle was many informants. Yu. Shapoval’s research allows you to hear and understand a completely different Oleksandr Dovzhenko. Forced to create a communist film canon, he was at the same time a non-conformist, giving realistic and ruthless assessments of the ruling order.

During the presentation (photo by Yu. Shapoval)

At the beginning of the presentation, the participants watched the documentary feature film “Dovzhenko on Fire”, created in 2014 by director Iryna Shatokhina in collaboration with Yuriy Shapoval (he was a co-author of the script and host). And then the famous film connoisseur, screenwriter, researcher Serhiy Trimbach held a dialogue with Yuriy Shapoval about both mentioned editions. The conversation aroused the great interest of those present, lively reaction, questions.

The presentation was held as part of events for the 130th anniversary of the birth of Oleksandr Dovzhenko, which will be celebrated in September this year.

From left to right: Head of the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine Serhiy Bordenyuk, Professor Yuriy Shapoval, film expert and screenwriter Serhiy Trimbach