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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Ivan Mykolaichuk is commemorated in Bukovyna

The attempts to create a Cinema Art Center in the artist’s home village have failed for four years
18 June, 2014 - 17:22

Ivan Mykolaichuk was called the image and soul of Ukrainian poetic cinema. The artist’s oeuvre includes 34 film roles, 9 screenplays, and 2 director’s works. On the 73rd anniversary of the artist’s birth residents and guests of Chernivtsi laid flowers to his memorial board.

“We marked the birthday of the artist in a modest way, taking into consideration the events in the country,” said the head of culture department, Chernivtsi ODA Vira KYTAIHORODSKA. “The Chernivtsi Movie Theater held free screenings of the films So Late, So Warm Autumn; The Lost Letter, and documentary Ivan Mykolaichuk. Funeral Feast, and the House of Culture of Lenkivtsi District showed White Bird with Black Mark. The city libraries held literary-artistic events ‘You rose to the blue sky like a white bird to the stars’ and ‘Shadows of unforgotten talent of Ivan Mykolaichuk,’ as well as book exhibits. The Sadhora Culture Art Center held an informative event ‘Leafing through the pages of Ivan Mykolaichuk’s biography.’ In the yard of the Chernivtsi City Council an exhibit ‘Mykolaichuk in Painting’ was opened, where the works of the members of the Union of Artists of Ukraine and pupils of art school were on display, and master classes on painting (Pavlo Piven), glass painting (Mykhailo Dudka), pottery (Serhii Bohopolsky and Illia Vasylovych), and weaving (Lesia Teutu) were held. The masters created portraits of Ivan Mykolaichuk and works inspired by the oeuvre of the outstanding Ukrainian. Several pictures will be donated to the foundation ‘Future of Ukraine’ for selling and helping the children of the killed military men.”

On June 15 the artist was commemorated in the House Museum in Chortoryia in Kitsman raion with the participation of the oblast authorities.

“At the moment there is no heating in his house, and we dream that the literary part of the house will be built, so that we could have an opportunity to preserve there the materials that are now stored in the Local Lore Museum,” said Yevdokia Antoniuk, who initiated the creation of the house museum and was a methodologist of the Chernivtsi Oblast Local Lore Museum. “The situation with Ivan Mykolaichuk Movie Theater remains painful.”

It will be reminded that a decision was made in 2010 to liquidate the movie theater for debts and create instead the Ivan Mykolaichuk Cinema Art Center. The members of the local council even approved the decision to allot over four million hryvnias for the reconstruction of the movie theater. But the money never came. Today the former cinema is in quite a neglected condition: homeless people, who get into the cinema through the windows, spend nights here. The artist’s widow will soon visit Chernivtsi to see into this problem.

“I plan to visit Bukovyna in the 20th numbers of June,” Maria, Ivan Mykolaichuk’s widow said. “In the same period I am going to meet with the leadership of the city, to solve the question after all whether I should initiate the alienation of his name from that theater. For if it does not function and nobody restores it, why should Ivan’s name be hanging in the air? The state officials promise every year that they will restore the cinema, and it is painful for me to look how they are using the name of my husband in their political games. As for the recent events in Ukraine, Ivan would not be standing aside. He would get involved in everything, he would be in the first ranks in Maidan, and for sure he would be in the creative sotnia. But it is hard to speak for him. Because I am sure that Ivan would do everything in his own way.”

By Maria VYSHNEVSKA, Chernivtsi