A biographical film about the artist Kasimir Malevich is going to be shot in Ukraine

The production company 435 FILMS Ukraine initiated the development of the historical biopic about the artist Kazimir Malevich. The film project is going to be directed by Daria Onishchenko (Eastalgia, The Forgotten). The script is written by Daria and Anna Palenchuk, producer and CEO of 435 FILMS. The project has been selected by the script laboratory of the famous European MIDPOINT program with experts from Netflix and HBO.

The idea to make a feature film about Kasimir Malevich belongs to the producer Anna Palenchuk (Eastalgia, Askania Reserve, Ridni, 2020: Deserted Country, Hero of My Time, Numbers).

The biopic tells an exciting story of Kasimir’s Malevich life: the history of his childhood in Ukraine, his formation as an artist under the influence of the Ukrainian folk art, his private life and relationships with women, creation of Suprematism as a new direction in fine arts, etc. The tragedy of Holodomor and the persecution of avant-garde artists by the Soviet regime also build an important part of the story. 

The plot is based on the confrontation between the abstractionist Kazimir Malevich and the famous constructivist Volodymyr Tatlin. Eccentric and extraordinary personalities, attractive and handsome men, these artists competed all their lives for the recognition of their works. But more famous they became, more problems they got with Soviet authorities.

‘Kazimir Malevich is well-known as an outstanding artist of the 20th century and the author of one of the most famous paintings in the world Black Square. In our autobiographical film, we want to show Kazimir Malevich in his intimate moments, as a man who loved, suffered, got friends and enemies, inspired his pupils, was dreaming of achieving world fame, and whose life changed completely because of the brutality of the Soviet regime’, comments the film’s co-writer and producer Anna Palenchuk.

‘It is interesting that Malevich and Tatlin are still considered to be Russian artists, although they both spent their childhood in Ukraine, both of them spoke Ukrainian language, and were singing Ukrainian songs. Tatlin also played the Bandura (national Ukrainian instrument). Kasimir Malevich has always emphasized that his formation as an artist was influenced by Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian history, – says director and co-writer Daria Onyschenko. – I did not try to tell the full biography of Malevich in the script. It was important for me to build a truthful and strong character. Love, passion, disappointments, dreams, fame, ups and downs, persecution, arrests – this film will have everything you need to succeed among a wide audience in Ukraine and abroad’.

Art critics and art historians from Ukraine and abroad have been involved to work on the project. The main consultant of the project is Tetyana Filevska, known for her documentary about the life and work of Kazimir Malevich, as well as for her books about Malevich’s life in Ukraine.

‘Unfortunately, not many people know that Malevich was not only an artist but also a philosopher, a teacher, a poet. He created a completely new school of art, crossed the laws of the past, and boldly looked into the future. A film about his life and work should help to understand his paintings and his contribution to the world art’, said director Daria Onishchenko.

Malevich Project has been selected for the script laboratory of a well-known European program MIDPOINT from Creative Europe. The teachers of this program are well-known film-professionals from Netflix and HBO. They will help participants of the program to finalize their scripts and make them attractive for the international market. The program also provides an opportunity to adapt the material to the format of a modern series for well-known platforms. As part of the program, Malevich screen-play will be presented at international film markets.

The film is coming to cinemas in 2021.