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Mikhail Kaufman
Birth: Sep. 5, 1897
Death: Mar. 11, 1980

Cinematographer, Documentary Director. The younger brother and key collaborator of director Dziga Vertov. He won his place in movie history as the title "character" in Vertov's seminal documentary "Man With a Movie Camera" (1929). Moise Abramovich Kaufman was born in Bialystok, a Polish town then in the Russian Empire, and was raised in Moscow. He was a camera enthusiast from childhood. After serving in the Red Army during the Russian Civil War he joined Vertov's Cinema-Eye group and was its chief cameraman from 1922 to 1929. He helped pioneer the "hidden camera" technique to observe people unawares. Among the non-fiction films the brothers made together were the newsreel "Kino Pravda" ("Cinema Truth", 23 editions, 1922 to 1925), "Cinema Eye" (1924), "Stride Soviet!" (1926), and "A Sixth of the World" (1926). His debut as a director, "Moscow" (1926), was the earliest feature to utilize the dawn to dusk format that later became a standard feature of the documentary genre known as "City Symphonies". For "Man With a Movie Camera" Kaufman was both director of photography and the roving cameraman whose ubiquitous onscreen presence makes a philosophical point about the illusion of truth in the cinema. Splitting with Vertov over creative differences, Kaufman won international praise with his second directorial effort, "In Spring" (1930), in which the season was used as a metaphor for revolution. Its dynamic sequence of a stream growing into a mighty river was widely imitated by other filmakers. The great potential Kaufman showed in this film was subsequently stamped out by Stalinist censorship; he was not allowed to direct again, and his gifts as a cinematographer were wasted on dreary propaganda assignments. He remained in the documentary field until 1972, but so obscurely that many film historians have drawn a blank on his career following "In Spring". His later films include "The Great Victory" (1933), "Our Moscow" (1939), "Igor Grabar" (1957), and "Composer Tikhon Khrennikov" (1967). A year before his death he gave an interview to American scholar Erik Barnouw, providing information on the Cinema-Eye movement previously unavailable in the west. His younger brother, Boris Kaufman, was a successful cinematographer in France and later in Hollywood. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
Novodevichy Cemetery
Moscow
Moscow Federal City, Russian Federation
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
Record added: Jan 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 23888644
Mikhail Kaufman
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Mikhail Kaufman
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Mikhail Kaufman
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Rogério Monteiro
 
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