Film Library
Guardian of the Past, 2004.  

Original title: Strażnik minionego czasu
Copyright: Agencja Produkcji Filmowej, M.P. Production, 2003
Format: documentary
Carrier: DVD
Color: color
Length: 46 min.
Original language: Polish, Ukrainian songs
English subtitles: yes

Film crew
Director and writer: Małgorzata M. Potocka
Cinematography: Piotr Wojtowicz P.S.C.
Director of production: Paweł Bareński
Editor: Cezary Grzesiuk      
Music: Borys Somerschaf 
Producer: Andrzej Stempowski

Featuring: Borys Voznytskyi

This award-winning documentary by Polish director Malgorzata Potocka celebrates the life and legacy of the renowned Ukrainian art curator Borys Voznytsky (1926-2012), who fought relentlessly under Soviet tyranny to preserve some twelve thousand works of sacred art. Voznytsky devoted his life to Ukrainian and Polish art, traveling around Ukraine and its abandoned churches in search of neglected icons, liturgical objects, and other remnants of religious art. Dr. Voznytsky was a revered art historian, long-time director of the Lviv National Art Gallery. During World War II he served in the Soviet Army, but once the war was over he enrolled in the Ivan Trush School of Fine Arts, and subsequently went on to study art history at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). In 1960 he became a deputy director of the National Museum of Art in Ukraine, and in 1962 he became director of the Lviv National Art Gallery. At that time the gallery boasted approximately 10,000 artifacts and a single room; during Voznytsky's term as the Director the  collection grew exponentially, which prompted the opening of 15 additional sections in the gallery. During the 1960s and 70s, he engaged art historians and enthusiasts to preserve some twelve thousand museum-worthy artifacts, which otherwise would have been destroyed as a part of the Soviet campaign against religion. The gallery's collection boasts a large selection of sculptures by the Ukrainian Baroque sculptor Johann Georg Pinzel, known among researchers as the "Slavic Michelangelo." The exhibition Johann Georg Pinsel: Un sculpteur baroque en Ukraine au XVIIIe siecle, on display at the Louvre in Paris through February 25, 2013, "would have not taken place without [Borys Voznytsky's] many years of work," said the curator Hilem Scherf. Late in his career, Voznytsky's explorations expanded to churches of more recent periods.  His steadfast dedication and undying love for the arts combined with hard work throughout the years are reflected in the fact that the Lviv National Art Gallery is currently home to 60,000 objects d'art.

Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University© 2015. For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk