Item #1926 [WOMEN OF CENTRAL ASIA] Vtoraia zhena [i.e. The Second Wife]
[WOMEN OF CENTRAL ASIA] Vtoraia zhena [i.e. The Second Wife]
[WOMEN OF CENTRAL ASIA] Vtoraia zhena [i.e. The Second Wife]
[WOMEN OF CENTRAL ASIA] Vtoraia zhena [i.e. The Second Wife]

[WOMEN OF CENTRAL ASIA] Vtoraia zhena [i.e. The Second Wife]

Moscow: Kinopechat’, 1927. Item #1926

8 pp.: ill. 17x26 cm. In original photomontage wrappers. Mint, minor tear and crease of upper corner of front cover.

A libretto brochure for the silent Uzbek film “The Second Wife” (1927) propagating liberation of Central Asian women.
In this picture, Jewish actress Rachel Messerer (1902-1993) starred. It was one of some works Messerer managed to join. In the early 1930s,
she turned to family and household. In the late 1930s, she was arrested soon after her spouse, diplomat Mikhail Plisetski. Released from a
concentration camp in 1941, she had no chance to join cinematography again and took care of her daughter, ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya.

For this production, Messerer collaborated with screenwriter Lola-Khan Saifullina, director Mikhail Doronin and cameraman Vladimir Dobrzhanskii.
Mikhail Doronin (1885-1935) wasn’t considered an outstanding director with experimental works. However, he was appreciated by contemporaries
for his input into Russian and Soviet theater and cinematography. He debuted as an actor in a screen version of a Jewish toast song “L’Chaim”
[To Life] in 1910. In 1915, he first acted as codirector of V. Meyerhold in production of the film adaptation of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. In
1919, Doronin supported the idea of creating the 1st State Film School (later it became VGIK) and taught acting until 1922. One of his students was film director Lev Kuleshov.

Vladimir Dobrzhanskii (1882-1939) is regarded as one of the first cameramen in Kyiv. He was engaged in cinematography in 1908, working as an
assistant mechanic and an amateur cameraman. In 1909, he became a film correspondent for the Pathé Magazine and then worked in the Moscow branch of the Pathé film studio. In 1909–1915, Dobrzhanskii filmed more than 100 newsreels: celebrations, funerals, the chronicle of the first group flight Kyiv–Oster–Nizhyn–Kyiv on board an airplane with an aviator P. N. Nesterov in 1913. Likely, this was the world’s first filming from the air. Dobrzhanskii was employed in the Proletkino studio in 1925 and in the Uzbekgoskino studio in 1927. In 1938, Dobrzhanskii was arrested and executed.
The picture was a part of a women’s liberation campaign that Soviet authorities launched all over the USSR. The plot is about hardship of a Central Asian woman. A young woman Adolyat is forced to marry a wealthy man and become his second wife. The husband, the older wife, the mother-in-law and the brother-in-law treat her harshly and the situation doesn’t change after the birth of a child. Adolyat makes an attempt to escape with her baby and return to parents’ home but she fails. She is forced to come back and dies by accident. The film stresses that women are generally at a disadvantage because of Sharia. The brochure also includes memoirs of Dobrzhanskii on how the production was going,
Uzbek traditions the staff faced; memoirs by Maria Grineva (the older wife) and Lola-Khan Saifullina (screenwriter). According to the latter, the idea
came to her after she had heard about a 15-year old Adolyat who died soon after marriage. Their text are accompanied by a review by People’s
Commissar of Education of the Uzbek SSR, Mumin Khodzhaev (1897-1938, executed). The back cover of the brochure shows an
advertisement for another silent Uzbek film ‘Jackals of Rawat’ (1927).

The only copy is located in Yale University.

Price: $1,500.00

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