Home » Archive » Dziga and his Brothers: A Film Family on the Cutting Edge

Dziga and his Brothers: A Film Family on the Cutting Edge

Dziga and his Brothers: A Film Family on the Cutting Edge
Curated by Alla Verlotsky and Richard Pena.

Cinema families are a relatively rare phenomenon. One thinks of the Hustons, the Fondas, the Chaplins (Charlie and Geraldine) and now the Coppolas . . . but not too many more. Arguably the greatest of these families and one of the least known, in the United States at any rate were the legendary Kaufman brothers of Bialystok: cameraman Boris Kaufman , cameraman/director Mikhail (originally Moisei) Kaufman, and the hugely inventive and influential Denis (originally David) Kaufman, better known to the world as Dziga Vertov, the founder of experimental documentary film.

Kaufman brothers separately and together created some of the most critically acclaimed and influential films of all times.

"Dziga and His Brothers: A Film Family on the Cutting Edge" - is a unique opportunity to view film history from a fresh perspective, as well as to draw together the otherwise separate histories of film making in Russia, France and the U.S. The theories and experimental films of the Kaufman brothers revolutionized documentary and mainstream cinema and influenced many filmmakers, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Vigo, Stan Brakhage, Chris Marker, Elia Kazan, and Sidney Lumet.

The story of each of Kaufman brothers is a dramatic tale about talent, persecution, historical circumstances, and perseverance. Collectively, they are the stuff of cinematic legend, a fascinating testimony to the tragedies and triumphs of the Jewish spirit.

Film list:

  • Dziga Vertov - (Denis/David Kaufman)
  • Kino-Eye - Life Caught Unawares, USSR; 1924
  • The Sixth Part of the World, USSR; 1926
  • The Eleventh Year, USSR; 1928
  • The Man with a Movie Camera, USSR; 1929
  • Enthusiasm: The Donbass Symphony, USSR; 1931
  • Three Songs About Lenin, USSR; 1934
  • Forward, Soviet!, USSR; 1926
  • Kino-Pravda #10, # 13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #20, #21, #22, USSR; 1925

Mikhail Kaufman - (Moisei)

    In the Spring Time, USSR; 1929
Boris Kaufman
    A Propos de Nice, directed by J. Vigo, France; 1930
  • Zero de conduite, directed by J. Vigo, France; 1933
  • L'Atalante, directed by J. Vigo, France; 1934
  • On the Waterfront, directed by Elia Kazan, USA; 1954
  • 12 Angry Men, directed by Sidney Lumet, USA; 1957
  • Splendor in the Grass, directed by Elia Kazan, USA; 1961
  • Bye Bye Braverman, USA;1968
  • The Pawnbroker, directed by Sidney Lumet, USA; 1964