Motion Picture Director. Born in Irkutsk, Siberia, he served with the Red Army during the Russian Civil War and studied sculpture at the Moscow Institute of Arts and Technology. He worked as a translator before joining the Mosfilm studio as a scenarist in 1931. His directing debut, "Pyshka" (1934), was a well-received adaptation of Maupassant's "Boule de suif". Soviet dictator Josef Stalin liked Romm's "The Thirteen" (1936), a Russified remake of John Ford's "The Lost Patrol", and ordered him to make a film commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the 1917 Revolution. The resulting biopic, "Lenin in October" (1937), won him the Order of Lenin and spawned a sequel, "Lenin in 1918" (1939). The director was then obliged to make uninspiring party-line productions, though two, "The Dream" (1943) and "Girl No. 217" (1944), rose above mediocrity. For most of his career Romm was restricted by the demands of Communist censorship, and although he was awarded five Stalin Prizes, he later ruefully dismissed most of his work as "time-serving". This does not take into account the individualism of his spare and moody style. In 1962, after six years of creative silence, he made an assured comeback with "Nine Days in One Year", a probing drama about a nuclear scientist who begins to question his vocation. Even greater was "Ordinary Fascism" (1965), a monumental compilation documentary that examined how populations could bring men like Hitler to power. He left another documentary, "And Still I Believe", unfinished; it was completed by assistants and released in 1974. From 1938 until his death Romm taught directing at the Moscow Film School (VGIK). His most famous student was director Andrei Tarkovsky.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards
Elena Aleksandrovna Kuzmina