How did Pushkin become Russia’s national poet?

 

Pushkin Is Our Everything is a documentary film in which Michael Beckelhimer goes on a journey through Russia to find out how Russia’s most famous 19th-century poet became contemporary Russia’s supreme national icon – and how he’s helping Russia today.

After 200 years, Pushkin remains one of the most potent symbols of Russian national consciousness and pride. Since Dostoevsky praised him at the unveiling of the first Pushkin statue in Moscow in 1880, Russians of all stripes have glorified him. Pushkin is everywhere in Russia today: brought to life in movies and plays, sculpted in bronze statues looming over squares and streets all across Russia.  Stop anyone on the street and they’ll quote a few lines of their favorite Pushkin verse. Russians often say that Pushkin is their “everything”.

The documentary is a revealing jaunt through history, from Pushkin’s fatal duel in 1837 to the fall of the Romanov empire through the communist period. At each of these points, Pushkin rose higher and higher on the pedestal of Russian culture.

It’s a personal journey for Beckelhimer, who believes Russians are lucky to be bound together by their national poet.

But it’s been a rough few years in Russia. In response, the film tackles a second important question: How can Russia’s national poet help them today?  In the film, Beckelhimer meets Russians who have turned to Pushkin to get them through difficult times. As one St. Petersburg poet is quoted as saying: Pushkin is more important today than ever!

 

CREDITS

WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY MICHAEL BECKELHIMER

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER KIM THOMAS

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS ELENA PODOLSKAYA, LUDMILA PACHEPSKY

EDITOR MICHAEL CLOSSON

COMPOSER VLADIMIR PODGORETSKY

SOUND DESIGNER & RE-RECORDING MIXER JOE MILNER, PUGET SOUND

OPENING TITLE DESIGN MIKE MACHIN, MACHINE STUDIO

FINISHING SUPERVISOR WILLIAM B. MACOMBER

HD FINISHING FANCY FILM POST SERVICES, LOS ANGELES

COLORIST PAUL BYRNE

ONLINE ASSISTANT EDITORS TONY SHEK, KANE RICHARDSON

 

PARTICIPANTS

GALINA SEDOVA, DIRECTOR, PUSHKIN MUSEUM-APARTMENT (MOIKA, 12)

EKATERINA ASMUS, POET, ST. PETERSBURG

NIKOLAI SVANIDZE, RUSSIAN STATE UNIVERSITY FOR THE HUMANITIES

VENJAMIN FILSHTINSKY, PROFESSOR OF ACTING AT ST. PETERSBURG STATE ACADEMY FOR THEATER ARTS

SVETLANA STRIZHNEVA, MAYAKOVSKY MUSEUM (MOSCOW)

VALENTINA OCHIROVA, ST. PETERSBURG/BURYATIYA

LARISSA YUDENKO, TEACHER, ZAKAMENSK REGIONAL SCHOOL, BURYATIYA

MARCUS LEVITT, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (LOS ANGELES)

OLGA SCHNEIDER, TEACHER, MOSCOW SCHOOL #353 (“PUSHKIN SCHOOL”)

NATALYA YAZYKOVA, FORMER DIRECTOR, MOSCOW SCHOOL #353 (“PUSHKIN SCHOOL”)

ALEXANDER BURGANOV, SCULPTOR (MOSCOW)

DMITRI MAKAROV, CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT GREAT ADVERTISING (ST. PETERSBURG)