Mikosha stops time for the Backlot at Telluride
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Gunilla Bresky’s award-winning documentary on Russian WW2 photographer Vladislav Mikosha is screening at the US film festival
Russian World War II photographer Vladislav Mikosha was welcomed as a celebrity when he visited Hollywood in 1943 and exhibited his pictures of the horrors during the German Nazi troops’ siege of Sevastopol – he met Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper, danced the night away with Hedy Lamarr and was invited to a film screening by Charlie Chaplin.
Selected for the artistic Backlot section of the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, which ends today (1 September), Swedish director Gunilla Bresky’s documentary I Stop Time portrays the former cinema projectionist who, when he saw the 1922 silent film Nanook of the North, realised he simply had to become a cinematographer.
Mikosha (1909-2004) worked as a cameraman, photographer, professional documentarian and special correspondent for the Izvestiya and Pravda newspapers; he also filmed the destruction of Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the rescue of the Chelyuskin expedition in 1934, the liberation of Warsaw, and meetings between Stalin and Mao Zedong and between Khrushchev and Kennedy. He was one of the first to shoot in colour, and he supplied portaits of politicians and cultural figures for the Ogonek and Vokrug Sveta magazines.
Bresky, who has signed several award-winning World War II documentaries, including Night Witches (2008), about female bomber pilots, based her movie on Mikosha’s films, photos and diaries, with Swedish actor Jonas Karlsson lending his voice to him in the Jan Blomberg production for Sweden’s Bob Film. I Stop Time was named Best Swedish Documentary at Stockholm’s Tempo Documentary Festival – Sweden’s largest – in March.