Elizaveta Svilova

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Elizaveta Ignatevna Svilova (Елизавета Игнатьевна Свилова, 1900–1975) was a Russian filmmaker and film editor. She was a lifelong collaborator with her husband, Dziga Vertov, and a key member of his Kino-Eye group.

Born Elizaveta Schnitt, she entered films at age 14 as an editing assistant for Pathe in Moscow, and in 1918 became an editor of features at Goskino. Thrilled by the dynamism of Vertov's early agit-prop documentaries, she became one of his most vigorous supporters. In 1922 she joined Vertov's new Kino-Eye studio and would serve as chief editor (and later assistant director) of all his subsequent films, including the revolutionary newsreel Kino Pravda (Cinema Truth, 23 editions, 1922 to 1925), Kino Eye (1924), Stride Soviet! (1926), A Sixth of the World (1926), Man With a Movie Camera (1929), Enthusiasm (1931), Three Songs of Lenin (1934), and Lullaby (1937). They married in 1924. Svilova's reputation as an editor shielded her from the government attacks that adversely affected her husband's career in the late 1930s, and during World War II she was able to get him employment on combat documentaries. In 1946 she was awarded a Stalin Prize for her work on The Fall of Berlin (1945), and another of her films, Zverstva fashitov (1945), supplied evidence of Nazi atrocities at the Nuremburg Trials. After Vertov's death in 1954, Svilova catalogued his manuscripts and saw to it that many of his theoretical writings were published. [1]

Films about Svilova[edit]

  • Woman with an Editing Bench, dir. Karen Pearlman, 2016, 15 min. A short fictional film inspired by the life and work of Svilova. Trailer & Video on demand. (English)

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