Chekov For Children
|Wednesday, September 11|
Free for Everyone
Unrated | Running Time: 71 mins
Iowa Theatre in the IMU (Formerly the Bijou Cinema)
The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Sasha Water and Phillip Lopate.
The award-winning documentary Chekhov for Children tells the inspiring story of an ambitious undertaking – the 1979 staging on Broadway of Uncle Vanya by New York City 5th & 6th graders, directed by the celebrated writer Phillip Lopate. Using a wealth of never-before-screened student documentary videos and dramatic super 8mm films from the era, Chekhov for Children explores the interplay between art and life for a dozen friends across 30 years – including the filmmaker.
Phillip Lopate directed Uncle Vanya in 1979 when he was 36-years-old; nearly a century earlier, Anton Chekhov wrote the play at the age of 39. In Chekhov for Children, New York City schoolchildren play characters in Uncle Vanya grappling with the regrets and vanished hopes of middle age. Today, those children are themselves nearing age 40, like Chekhov when he wrote the play and Lopate when he directed it. A love letter to the turbulent New York of the 1970s, Chekhov for Children meditates upon the reckoning that comes at mid-life through the lens of universal themes: first love, mentoring, and parenting.