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Finding Dzhulynka: a film by Richard Rosing cover photo

Finding Dzhulynka: a film by Richard Rosing 2004

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Telestory, 3914 Wallace Lane, Nashville, TN 37215; 615-383-8141
Produced by Richard Rosing
Directed by Richard Rosing
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - Adult
History, Music, Russia

Date Entered: 01/14/2005

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

This production chronicles the very personal journey of a brother and sister in search of their father and the world he left behind in Russia in early 1917. Richard Rosing is the son of the late Vladimir Rosing, a well-known tenor from Russia. The Rosings were of Swedish descent and, before the Communist Revolution, lived in St. Petersburg as well as owning an estate in the Ukraine. This estate was located on the river Bug and included two villages one of which was named Dzhulynka. Vladimir left Russia in 1917, never to return, and became a well-known performer in both Britain and America. Married several times, he died in 1963 leaving behind a son and a daughter who eventually were determined to find out as much as they could of their father and the world he left behind.

In the days following the tragedy of 9/11 Richard and his sister, Diana, along with her son journeyed to St. Petersburg and then on to Dzhulynka. In the former, they were able to find the apartment building where the family had lived at the turn of the last century. In the latter, they explored the remains of the estate manor. They have even located cousins living in Russia.

Richard narrates this production, which uses family photos, archival photos, as well as video shot on their journey of September 2001. This story of Vladimir and his children is amazing, fascinating, and rather touching. Richard employs recordings of his father singing Russian songs as the soundtrack, which interweaves very nicely with the production. This reviewer hopes that the story of how Vladimir’s two sisters survived the purges of the 1930s will be told in an upcoming production. The accompanying material consists of an interview with historian Priscilla Roosevelt about life on the Russian estate at the turn of the 20th century and a number of recordings of Vladimir performing a number of vocal pieces. This is a unique and splendid production that should delight the viewer.