Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs and Ethnographic Refrains

Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs and Ethnographic Refrains

Kandis Friesen | 
Canada |
 2016 | 
37 minutes

THIS SCREENING IS PART OF THE TRANSMISSIONS: EXPANDED CINEMA SERIES AND WILL INCLUDE LIVE PERFORMANCES.

A video installation and performance work, where a live narration blends with a live-mixed video and audio track, we bring you, Katyusha: Rocket Launchers, Folk Songs, and Ethnographic Refrains. A Russian folk song from the Soviet Era, written in 1938, about a young girl named Katyusha, whose lover has left for war, became a hit at the onset of WWII. Subsequently adapted by different people, the song traveled across languages and borders, transforming for each time and place that needed it. So begins Kandis Freisen’s exploration of personal and public myth making, set to the mesmerizing minor scale of Katyusha’s lost melody. -SC

Katyusha draws on reworked, found, and archival moving image, photo, and sound. From triumphant teenaged theft at a suburban Winnipeg Sam The Record Man, to Anna German’s turbulent childhood across Central Asia and Poland, to the Mennonite choirs that refused to be quiet during the harsh silence of the Stalin era, Katyusha looks at the function of song in ethno-nationalism, imperialism, and resistance; violence, pop culture, faith, and love. The piece focuses on the role of song as cultural form, following the Soviet war-time hit song Katyusha, the rocket launcher that subsequently took on its name, and the tragic life of the secretly Mennonite Soviet pop star Anna German, who recorded an immensely popular version of the song in 1962. -KANDIS FRIESEN

Screening With
Aaron Zeghers | 
Canada |
 2016 | 
13 minutes