About The Film
The artistic and political revolution of early 19th century Russia is mythologized in CHAGALL-MALEVICH, a magical period drama about the uneasy relationship between two artistic geniuses.
Inspired by the memoirs of Marc Chagall and those of his contemporaries, the film blends fact and folklore to evoke the return of the iconic Jewish artist (portrayed by Leonid Bichevin) to his childhood home of Vitebsk. Having left behind immense success in Paris, Chagall lives out his golden years of 1917-1918 in the Russian empire, falling in love with Bella Rosenfeld (Kristina Schneidermann), producing copious paintings, and establishing the Academy of Modern Art. A rivalry develops with abstract Polish painter Kazimir Malevich (Anatoliy Belyy), invited to teach at the art school. As Bella rekindles a childhood friendship with military Red Commissar Naum (Semyon Shkalikov), Chagall competes for the affections of his muse and future wife. As the October Revolution sweeps across Russia, historical events intrude on personal struggles and upend the quiet provincial life in Vitebsk.
Brimming with surrealistic imagery from the paintings of Chagall and Malevich, this sumptuous melodrama marks veteran Russian filmmaker Alexander Mitta’s return after a decade-long hiatus.