“CineSkovoroda”: Cinematic Update of the Biography
Keywords:genre heredity, biography, biopic, documentary film, H. Skovoroda
The article concerns the relevance of the issue of genre heredity between literature and cinema. The cinematography actively turned to the genre of biography even in the first decades of its development, in the era of the silents. It did not disappear from the view of cinematographers throughout the 20th century. Recently, this genre has been activated both in cinema and on television, which increased the interest of researchers. Hence, the receptive problematics of the Ukrainian philosopher, theologian, poet and teacher Hryhorii Skovoroda’s biography (1722–1794) is analysed in the cinematographic discourse. It was noticed that the figure of the outstanding philosopher did not attract the proper attention of cinematographers either in Soviet period (only one feature film and one documentary film were shot) or in the time of Ukraine’s Independence. However, even those few films only partially represent the “Ukrainian Socrates” to the viewer. It is stated that documentary production, in contrast to the feature films, is represented by a number of films about Hryhorii Skovoroda, which, of course, differ in their quality and creative potential. However, having an aesthetic and cognitive value, they all present a certain way of processing biographical material (letters, memories, stories of contemporaries), his writings and creative works (philosophical, literary, musical works) and perform an important function of popularizing this outstanding personality and his creative heritage. It is concluded that the cinematographic actualization of the philosopher’s biography and works in recent decades is due to the new historical situation, to the desire to perceive his legacy in a new light, to debunk the existing biographical myths. Skovoroda’s philosophical ideas not only remain relevant in the 21st century, but also appear as markers of Ukrainian identity in the modern reality.
Briukhovetska, L. (2016). Na poli kinematohrafichnomu: stsenariï Ivana Dracha [In the field of cinema: scripts by Ivan Drach]. Kyiv : Kino-Teatr, ART Knyha, 116 p. (in Ukrainian).
Briukhovetska, L. (2022). Postat′ Hryhoriia Skovorody v ukraïns′komu kinomystetstvi [The figure of Hryhorii Skovoroda in Ukrainian cinema]. Hryhorii Skovoroda u suchasnomu bahatovymirnomu sviti. Abstracts of Papers of the 8tn International Conference, 2022, Lviv. Lviv : LNU im. Ivana Franka, pp. 37–40. (in Ukrainian).
Vidkryi sebe [Discover yourself] (1972). Ukrkinokhronika, director Rollan Serhiienko. (in Ukrainian).
Hryhorii Skovoroda [Hryhorii Skovoroda] (1958). Kinostudiia imeni O. Dovzhenka, director Ivan Kavaleridze. (in Ukrainian).
I svit mene ne vpiimav... [And the world didn’t catch me...] (2004). “Debiut” Kinostudii imeni O. Dovzhenka, directors Yurii Zmorovych ta Anatolii Kucherenko. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://dzygamdb.com/uk/films/2560 (accessed: 15.11.2022).
Kavaleridze, I. (1976). Hryhorii Skovoroda (Hryhorii i Paraskeva) [Hryhorii Skovoroda (Hryhorii and Paraskeva)]. In: Kavaleridze, I. Piesy. Kyiv : Dnipro, pp. 183–236. (in Ukrainian).
Kapelhorodska, N. (2007). Ivan Kavaleridze: zhyttia i tvorchist′ [Ivan Kavaleridze: life and work]. Kyiv : Kyi, 336 p. (in Ukrainian).
Kryvonis, T. (2021). Kharkiviany znialy fil′m, shchob pryvernuty uvahu do avariinoï sadyby, de zhyv Skovoroda [Kharkiv cinematographers made a film to draw attention to the dilapidated manor where Skovoroda lived]. Suspil′ne Novyny, 15 October. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://suspilne.media/172199-harkivani-znali-film-sob-zberegti-sadibu-de-ziv-skovoroda/ (accessed: 23.11.2022).
Kokhan, T. (2017). Kinematohraf u konteksti kul′turnoho prostoru XX stolittia [Cinema in the context of the XX century cultural space]. Kyiv : In-t kul′turolohiï NAM Ukraïny, 304 p. (in Ukrainian).
Levchuk, . (2018). Fenomen literaturnosti [The phenomenon of literariness]. Lutsk : PVD “Tverdynia”, 366 p. (in Ukrainian).
Makarov, Yu. (2022). U poshukakh nevlovymoho. Dokumental′nyi fil′m do 300-richchia Hryhoriia Skovorody na Suspil′nomu [In search of the Elusive. Documentary film for the 300th anniversary of Hryhorii Skovoroda on Suspilny TV]. DM Suspil′noho, 11 December. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://stv.detector.media/kontent/read/7586/2022-12-11-u-poshukakh-nevlovymogo-dokumentalnyy-film-do-300-richchya-grygoriya-skovorody-na-suspilnomu/ (accessed: 22.11.2022).
Melnychuk, A. (2012). Doslidnyk Bozhoiu mylistiu. Pro Mykolu Arkhypovycha Shudriu [Researcher by God’s grace. About Mykola Arkhypovych Shudria]. In: Den′, no. 110, 27 June. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://day.kyiv.ua/article/poshta-dnya/doslidnyk-bozhoyu-mylistyu (accessed: 20.11.2022).
Melnychuk, B. (1996). Vyprobuvannia istynoiu. Problemy istorychnoï ta khudozhn′oï pravdy v ukraïns′kii istoryko-biohrafichnii literaturi (vid pochatkiv do s′ohodennia) [Test truth. Problems of historical and artistic truth in Ukrainian historical and biographical literature (from the beginnings to the present)]. Kyiv : VTs “Akademiia”, 272 p. (in Ukrainian).
Mykolaichuk, I. (2008). Nebylytsi pro Ivana, znaideni v mal′ovanii skryni z napysamy [Fables about Ivan, found in a painted chest with inscriptions]. In: Mykolaichuk, I. Stsenariï. Kyiv : Vyd. dim “Mizhnarodnyi turyzm”, pp. 379–414. (in Ukrainian).
Nevyhadani istorii. Hryhorii Skovoroda [Nonfictional stories. Hryhorii Skovoroda] (2019). Director Svitlana Novytska. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyo3jslj7xA (accessed: 26.11.2022).
Ovcharenko, E. (2020). Znimaiemo kino pro Skovorodu [Shooting a film about Skovoroda]. I-UA.TV, 28 February. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://i-ua.tv/culture/26341-znimaemo-kino-pro-skovorodu (accessed: 26.11.2022).
“Planeta Skovorod”y – rezhisser i zhurnalist Igor' Poddubnyi prezentoval svoi novyi fil'm [“The Planet of Skovoroda” – director and journalist Igor Poddubny presented his new film] (2020). Vremia, 3 December. (in Russian). URL: https://timeua.info/aktualnoe-segodnya/aktualnoe-harkov/planeta-skovorodi-rezhisser-i-zhurnalist-igor-poddubnyj-prezentoval-svoj-novyj-film/ (accessed: 27.11.2022).
Sulyma, M. (2011). Trahediia Ivana Kavaleridze “Hryhorii Skovoroda (Hryhorii i Paraskeva) [Tragedy of Ivan Kavaleridze “Hryhorii Skovoroda (Hryhorii and Paraskeva)”]. Pereiaslavs′ki Skovorodyns′ki studiï, iss. 1, pp. 130–135. (in Ukrainian).
Taiemnychyi Skovoroda [Mysterious Hryhorii Skovoroda] (2013). Director Olena Khmyrova. (in Ukrainian).
Todorov, Tz. (2006). Poniattia literatury ta inshi ese [The concept of literature and other essays]. Translated from the French by Ye. Marichev. Kyiv : Vyd. dim “Kyievo-Mohylians′ka akademiia”, 162 p. (in Ukrainian).
Trymbach, S. (2019). Kino narodzhene Ukraïnoiu. Al′bom antolohiï ukrains′koho kino [Cinema born in Ukraine. The anthology of Ukrainian cinema]. Kyiv : Samit-knyha, 384 p. (in Ukrainian).
Trymbach, S. (2021). Ivan Mykolaichuk. Misteriï doli [Ivan Mykolaychuk. Mysteries of fate]. Kyiv : Dukh i Litera, 368 p. (in Ukrainian).
U Kyievi vidbulasia premiera dokumental′noho fil′mu “U poshukakh Skovorody” [The premiere of the documentary “In Search of Skovoroda” took place in Kyiv] (2022). DM Suspil′noho, 12 December. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://stv.detector.media/spilnota/read/7589/2022-12-12-u-kyievi-vidbulasya-premiera-dokumentalnogo-filmu-u-poshukakh-skovorody/ (accessed: 22.11.2022).
Cheremsky, R. (2016). Pobachyv svit novyi fil′m “Skovorodynivska heohrafiia”, prysviachenyi mandram ukraïns′koho filosofa Hryhoriia Skovorody [A new film was released “Geography of Skovoroda”, dedicated to the travels of the Ukrainian philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda]. Ievro Kharkiv. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://euro.kharkiv.ua/pobachyv-svit-novyj-film-skovorodyn/ (accessed: 24.11.2022).
Shvets, M. (2022). “Nauka shchastia” Skovorody. Do 300-littia H.S. Skovorody ta ta 50-littia fil′mu “Vidkryi sebe” [“Science of happiness” by Skovoroda. To the 300th anniversary of H. S. Skovoroda and the 50th anniversary of the film “Discover Yourself”]. Kino-Teatr, no. 5, pp. 42–43. (in Ukrainian).
Shybanok, H. (2007). Filosof, uvichnenyi u skul′pturi. Pro istoriiu stvorennia unikal′noho pamiatnyka Hryhoriiu Skovorodi u Lokhvytsi [Philosopher immortalized in sculpture. About the history of the creation of a unique monument to Hryhorii Skovoroda in Lokhvytsia]. Den′, no. 63, 13 April. (in Ukrainian). URL: https://day.kyiv.ua/uk/article/kultura/filosof-uvichneniy-u-skulpturi (accessed: 23.11.2022).
Bastin, G. (2009). Filming the Ineffable: Biopics of the British Royal Family. Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 34–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989575.2009.10846787
Custen, G. (1992). Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 304 p.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Nataliia Nikoriak
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.