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MS Slavic 7

Director in Person
$12 Special Event Tickets
Directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz and Deragh Campbell.
With Deragh Campbell, Aaron Danby, Elizabeth Rucker.
Canada, 2019, DCP, color, 64 min.
DCP source: filmmaker

With her poignant short film Veslemøy’s Song, Bohdanowicz collaborated with Deragh Campbell to revive the autobiographically inspired character of Audrey Benac, introduced in Never Eat Alone and now bound for New York City to listen to a rare recording of the titular piece performed by a little-known female violinist who taught and mentored Bohdanowicz’ own grandfather. The search for inspiring women from the family past continues, expanded, in the remarkable MS Slavic 7, whose title derives from a collection in Houghton Library—the crown jewel of Harvard’s vast library system—that includes correspondences between Bohdanowicz’ great-grandmother Zofia Bohdanowiczowa and poet Józef Wittlin. Resourcefully using the Film Reference Library of the Toronto International Film Festival as a stand-in for Houghton, MS Slavic 7 follows Audrey’s efforts to read closely between the lines of the letters and to understand her responsibilities as literary executor of her great-grandmother’s estate. Structuring the film are scenes with Audrey discussing the meaning of the letters and reflecting on interpretation with an interlocutor only disclosed at the end, a device that places awkward and revealing pressures on the young woman’s words. A fractured flashback, meanwhile, recalls Audrey’s confrontation with an embittered aunt who reveals another thorny branch of the same family tree explored by Bohdanowicz.

MS Slavic 7 introduction and discussion with HFA Director Haden Guest, Sofia Bohdanowicz, Deragh Campbell and Houghton Library's Leslie Morris. ©Harvard Film Archive

PRECEDED BY

  • Veslemøy’s Song

    Directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz.
    With Deragh Campbell, Joan Benac, Steve Benac.
    Canada, 2018, 16mm, black & white, 9 min.
    Print source: filmmaker

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