Anton Zhelnov, Anna Narinskaya
Special Collections Research Center. University of Michigan Library
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MART Foundation presents the Tel Aviv premiere of Rock Paper Scissors, the documentary film about the legendary American publishing house, Ardis. This is a story about books and freedom, and two Americans who changed the history of Russian literature

The premiere in Israel will be introduced by Anton Zhelnov and Anna Narinskaya, the film's creators, and Eugene Kogan, co-owner of Babel bookstore and publishing house.

In the 60s and 70s, Soviet censorship banned ideologically unsound books, prompting literary critics Carl and Ellendea Proffer to confront the issue. From the basement of their Michigan home, they established Ardis Publishing which went on to print the works of Nabokov, Brodsky, Sasha Sokolov, and many others. Through witness accounts and Ellendea herself, the film tells the story of how a small publishing house managed to make banned voices heard not only in the West, but in the Soviet Union itself.

With a resurgence of censorship in Russia when the country once again tightens its grip on dissenting voices, this film offers more than just an exploration of the past, it's a lens through which we can understand the present.

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