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Lettera aperta di Naum Kleiman e dello staff del Museo dl Cinema di Mosca

Pordenone, Teatro Verdi, 15.10.1994: David Francis & Naum Kleiman.

Il 15 ottobre 1994, in occasione della XIII edizione delle Giornate del Cinema Muto, fu assegnato a David Francis e Naum Kleiman, il premio Jean Mitry quale riconoscimento dell'attività da loro svolta per tutelare e valorizzare il patrimonio cinematografico muto. Sono passati 20 anni da allora ma, come attesta la sua lettera aperta del 31 ottobre (e qui tradotta in italiano dall'inglese), Naum Kleiman, uno dei maggiori studiosi al mondo di Eisenstein, si trova a dover nuovamente combattere per salvare il Museo del Cinema da lui fondato e diretto per oltre un quarto di secolo.
È molto importante per lui e il suo staff ricevere al più presto – ovvero prima dell’11 novembre, quando verrà presa una decisione definitiva circa il futuro del Museo – il sostegno di privati e di istituzioni, specie dall’estero. Se non lo avete ancora fatto, rispondete subito all'appello di Kleiman e dei suoi collaboratori scrivendo a:

Si veda anche sul sito di Sight and Sound
A letter to Dmitry Medvedev concerning Naum Kleiman

The existence of the Cinema Museum in Moscow seriously threatened

On 15 October 1994, during the 13th Pordenone Silent Film Festival, David Francis and Naum Kleiman were given the Jean Mitry Award for their contribution to the reclamation and appreciation of silent cinema. 20 years later Mr. Kleiman, the world’s leading Eisenstein scholar, still has to fight to save the Moscow Cinema Museum he founded and directed for more than 25 years.
It is very important for him and his staff to receive a massive support from abroad before November 11, when a final decision will be made. If you haven't already done so, please send your e-mail right away.

An Open Letter to Our Colleagues
Film and Museum Professionals in Russia and Abroad

On 27 October 2014, the entire professional staff of the Moscow Cinema Museum – 22 employees, including all curators, archivists and film programmers – delivered to the Minister for Culture of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Medinsky, a letter informing him they resign their posts because of the impossibility of continuing their work under the new leadership of the Museum.
On 1 July 2014, the Ministry for Culture chose not to extend the contract of Naum Kleiman, one of the founders of the Moscow Cinema Museum and its director for over 25 years. Instead, a new director was appointed: Larisa Solonitsyna, editor in chief of the newspaper "SK News", the official publication of the Association of Filmmakers of the Russian Federation.
Three months later, the entire scholarly staff of the Museum felt obliged to express their distrust to Larisa Solonitsyna, in a letter to the head of the Department for Cultural Heritage at the Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Bryzgalov, and to the Presidential Advisor, Vladimir Tolstoy, calling attention to the lack of competence of the new director and her authoritarian style of leadership that is putting in danger the work of the whole team.
Under the pretext of “making order”, Ms. Solonitsyna began to fire employees in opposition to her, offering them the alternative to “leave their employment for personal reasons.” But for the scholarly staff, representatives of three generations, this museum is not just a job – it is our vocation and life-work.
The work of the Museum is paralyzed, current matters are not being solved, partners are renouncing further cooperation.
After our letter of October 27 to the Minister for culture with the explanation of our collective dismissal, the director decided to fire people: among the first five fired employees was Naum Kleiman. The director’s measures of intimidating or persuading to recall our letters of resignation did not make us submit. On the evening of 27 October, the Ministry of Culture, through Interfax Agency, disseminated a text about alleged infractions in the Cinema Museum’s activity, including financial ones, but during the recent ministerial inspection, answers were already given to these unfounded accusations. Why then these matters are being broadcast in media? The purpose is obvious: to discredit the former director of the Museum and his staff.
For the third time in its history, the Cinema Museum is in danger of elimination.
Among numerous answers of solidarity to our appeal, we received an important proposal.
The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, planning to create a cinema department, like in Washington National Gallery of Art, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum or Centre Pompidou, proposes to make Cinema Museum a part of its structure: a big developing museum association under its aegis, what gives our Museum a possibility to obtain its autonomous building with exhibitions and film programs. We summon our museum colleagues, researchers, filmmakers and film-lovers all over the world to support this initiative.
Please send your comments of support to our addresses:

Naum Kleiman and the professional staff of the Cinema Museum

Moscow, 31 October 2014


See also, on the Sight & Sound website:
A letter to Dmitry Medvedev concerning Naum Kleiman

Giornate 2015
La 34a edizione delle Giornate del Cinema Muto si terrà a Pordenone dal 3 al 10 ottobre 2015.
The 34th Pordenone Silent Film Festival will be held in Oct. 3-10, 2015.

Le Giornate del Cinema Muto 2014

- Calendario/Daily Schedule 2014
- Flyer serate 2014
- CatalogoPLUS/CataloguePLUS (+appendici/appendixes)

The 33rd Pordenone Silent Film Festival is dedicated to
PETER VON BAGH (1943-2014)
"We are the last generation which could know everything"




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