The Pasternaks

Film, Documentaries

Time Out says

Nick Gifford's fine, slow-burning documentaries all work by the same set of principles: to get as close to the subjects as possible, but not to use them; and to allow them to speak for themselves - no spurious manufacture of narrative or 'telling' structuralising. The Pasternaks is an extended interview with Boris Pasternak's two surviving septuagenarian sisters, who share a house in Oxford. They reminisce wonderfully about their father Leonid (a painter who seems to have crossed the subject matter of Millet with Impressionist techniques) and the family, via a collection of photographs, paintings and drawings. What emerges from Gifford's most 'conventional' documentary subject is a Jamesian pastel portrait of a rather respectable artistic family, living through extraordinary times. The description of Boris' funeral, where thousands flocked to the unannounced ceremony, is most moving. CPea.


Release details

50 mins

Cast and crew

Nick Gifford
Josephine Pasternak
Lydia Pasternak