Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Ukraine, Louise Brooks, Pandora's Box

I have learned a lot watching the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump on television, least of which is the pronunciation of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. It is pronounced Keeeve, not Key-ev.

In the course of my ongoing research into the world-wide presentation of Brooks' films, I have found that that they were shown in the Ukraine, which in the silent and early sound era was unwillingly part of Russia (aka the former Soviet Union dba the U.S.S.R.) The results of my research will be published in Around the World with Louise Brooks, which will be released later this year.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to access search results on the sole Ukrainian newspaper archive I have come across, LIBRARIA Ukrainian Online Periodicals Archive. (Search results are only available to institutions, not individuals.) The one and only intriguing piece I found is this half-page article on Buchse de Pandora published in Vorwärts, a German-language newspaper from Chernivtsi in what is now western Ukraine. (UPDATE: In the 1920s, Chernivtsi was part of Romania.) As the Ukrainian database noted above won't let me see anything more than a thumbnail image, I have enlarged it and posted it below. Can any readers of this blog access the above mentioned database and clip this page? I emailed the archive earlier but never heard back.

Otherwise, I have found one other clipping which details when and where the actress' films were shown in the Ukraine. Below is an advertisement for a showing of Pandora's Box (known as Puszka Pandory or Dzieje Kokoty Lulu) published in May, 1929 in Chwila, a Polish-language Zionist daily from Lwów, a city in what is now western Ukraine, around 70 kilometers from the border with Poland. (UPDATE: In the 1920s, Lwów was part of Poland.)

Certainly, there is more to be found I have a number of clippings from nearby nations such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Russia. Below, for example, is an ad from the English-language Moscow Daily News.

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