July 27, 2010. Cambridge, MA.

David Grieco Presents "Evilenko" at Club's Harvard Event

David Grieco (left) and Yuri Shevchuk during the discussion of “Evilenko” at Harvard. Photo by Michelle Viise.

The traditional Ukrainian Film Series held at Harvard Summer School by the Club peaked into an event that was one of the most remarkable since the series started in 2005. The screening of the Italian thriller “Evilenko” became a great opportunity to see the film and discuss it with its director David Grieco. By a happy coincidence Mr. Grieco, a friend and now honorary member of the Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University, happened to be in the USA with his family and volunteered to come to Harvard and present “Evilenko” himself. David Grieco was at the screening with his two sons Jamie and  Emanuele, both play small parts in the film. Yuri Shevchuk presented the guests to an enthusiastic audience of some forty people and conducted a post-screening discussion.


David Grieco was born in Rome in 1951. Just sixteen, he was invited by Franco Zeffirelli for a part in "Romeo and Juliet", by Pier Paolo Pasolini for "Teorema", by Bernardo Bertolucci for "Partner" and by a number of others noted Italian directors. At seventeen, he became an assistant director for Pasolini and Bertolucci. At nineteen, he started writing for the influential Communist daily "l'Unità" as its film and music critic and foreign correspondent. In his early thirties, Mr. Grieco returned to film industry as a scriptwriter. He also penned several books. He was prolific as author for and host in many Italian radio and television programs which he himself conceived. David Grieco has made more than a hundred feature documentaries on film directors and movie stars, including Clint Eastwood, John Woo, Liv Ullmann, Spike Lee, Philippe Noiret, Elliott Gould, Daniel Auteuil, Ettore Scola, Mario Monicelli, et al.


"Evilenko", his first feature film is based on his novel "Il comunista che mangiava i bambini" (The Communist Who Ate Children). Starring in it are Malcolm McDowell, Marton Csokas, Frances Barber and Ronald Pickup. "Evilenko" has won 18 prizes in many festivals around the world, in particular the International Silver Reel in Italy, the Golden Placido for best film in Manresa (Barcelona) and the Golden Reel Award for best director in Tiburon (San Francisco). "Evilenko" has been released worldwide and is available on DVD.


Based on the true story of the most bloody serial killer in the history of the Soviet Union Andrey Chikatilo, who murdered more than fifty people in the 1980s, the film is not for the faint of heart but it is riveting from beginning to end. Audience’s reaction proved it.  The discussion lasted for an entire hour. People compared “Evilenko” to “Silence of the Lambs” by Jonathan Demme (1991), commented on the brilliant acting and very nuanced directing. Professor Michael Flier, the director of Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, noted its “excellent acting, set-up of scenes, cinematography, and pace.  It was a real thriller and you didn't know which way things were going to go.  The attention to small details was impressive.” 

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