На помощь рабочим в ликвидации угольного прорыва и в борьбе за новый механизированный Донбасс в конце 1920-х – начале 1930-х гг. были призваны советские культурные организации. Особая роль отводилась кино. В городе Сталино были организованы киноредакция и кинолаборатория Украинфильма, развернулась деятельность кинообщественных организаций. Начали возникать ячейки Общества друзей советского фото и кино (ОДСФК). Они появлялись на шахтах и в клубах, были слабыми и разрозненными, зачастую оторванными от центрального управления.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Soviet cultural organizations were called upon to help the workers eliminate the coal breakthrough and fight for a new mechanized Donbass. A special role was assigned to cinema. In the city of Stalino a film editorial office and a film laboratory of Ukrainkfilm were organized, and film social organizations started their activities. There began to appear cells of the Society of Friends of Soviet Photo and Cinema (ODFK). They appeared in mines and clubs, were weak and fragmented, often disconnected from the central administration.
To support the work of local film organizations, to control the general state of cinema work in Stalino and Stalino area and to get acquainted with the activity of newly organized film editorship and Ukrainfilm film laboratory, a team of three professionals – Klimenko, Livshits and Savchuk – arrived in April 1931 at Kyiv Film Factory.
They did not get a rosy picture. The Stalin city organization of the UDFC did not have an exempt employee, and the grass-roots centers very rarely saw representatives of the city board. Many UDFC cells existed only on paper. The center of the UDFC on mine “Vetka” was formed in 1929, but soon disintegrated, and only now, after the arrival of the film brigade promised to start work. In the Palace of Culture. At the Butovka mine for six months the comrades did not know what to do. Things were exactly the same in other centers of the Stalin district.
Though the photo clubs were working, they were not under the influence of the UDFC and existed without technical and methodological assistance from the Ukrainkfilm photo studio. Often they were unaware of what and how other photo circles were doing.
Even worse, according to the brigade, was the situation with film showings. For 6 days the Novy movie theater was showing the “worthless” Soviet silent black and white film “Dva-buldi-two” (1929). It was a story about circus performers, set during the Civil War. The Brigade found in this film “sharply pronounced bourgeois tendencies.” The cinema “New” gave 42 sessions, covering 19 thousand spectators and proceeds 11300 rubles.
Meanwhile, an excellent cult-film (educational film) “Journey to the North” in this theater lasted only one day. There were only six screenings (daytime and evening). It reached 830 viewers and sold a paltry 312 rubles.
The crew had no doubt that the distribution of benefits would have been quite the opposite if only the local film community had organized the cinema-goer, regulating in the right way the process of visiting the cinemas by the workers.
And in general, kulturfilm was not in great esteem in Stalino. Thus, for example, the city cinema “Novy”, which in February 1931 gave 40% of screenings of foreign films, at the same time did not include in his repertoire this month, not a single kulturfilm.
A similar picture was observed in the mine clubs. Heads of the Vetka, Butovka and Petrovka clubs insistently demanded foreign action films. At the same time, they were cheating and appointed various meetings in the auditorium on the days when the cultural film was to be shown, in order not to show it, because… the auditorium was busy. That’s what happened at Vetka.
And at Butovka there was an outrageous case. On the poster of the Soviet short-lived comedy “Corpse de jure” (1930) about the misfortunes of a bureaucrat and bureaucrat Vasily Tompakov, who turned out to be a dead man according to a certificate, a note was made that the main role was played by a well-known actor Gary Loyd!
The brigade asked themselves the eternal Russian question: what to do? It prepared a film page for the Stalin newspaper “Molodoi Rabochaya” (Young Worker), where it depicted the work of Ukrainka Film and the UDFC in eliminating the coal breakthrough, and at the same time suggested that the UDFC Central Board, Ukrainka Film and the film community in Kiev come to Stalin’s aid.
It was necessary to provide the Stalin organization of the UDFC with a freed worker, to appoint a cultural instructor to the Vsevolozhsk department, to provide the cells of the UDFC and the artpolitical councils of cinemas with the available cinema literature and to use the photo studio of Ukrainkfilm for the educational work of the photo circles. Whether this was done or not, history is silent.