Roman Karmen

Roman Karmen

Birth
Odessa, Odes'ka, Ukraine
Death 28 Apr 1978 (aged 71)
Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Burial Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia
Plot Section 9
Memorial ID 23980691 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Filmaker. In his time he was the Soviet Union's most famous documentarian and cameraman, celebrated for his striking images of revolution and strife around the world. Roman Lazarevich Karmen was born in Odessa. Starting out as a magazine photographer, he switched to cinematography and directed his first documentary, the short "Moscow", in 1933. He first won fame for his coverage of the Spanish Civil War, culminating in the feature-length "Spain" (1937). "In China" (released 1941) recorded the exploits of Mao's Red Army in Yenan and had a decisive effect on Soviet policy regarding that movement. During World War II Karmen's footage found its way into the Academy Award-winning "Moscow Strikes Back" (1943) and "Stalingrad" (1943) as well as his own compilation film "Days and Nights of Leningrad" (1943); he later recorded the Nuremburg Trials. "Vietnam" (1954) captured Ho Chi Minh's victory over the French while "Island of Flame" (1961) chronicled Fidel Castro's rise to power. His final feature, "Chile Happenings" (1973), sounded a note of protest over the fall of the Allende government. Since his death Karmen's metier and methods have been called into question. A lifelong Communist, he towed the party line and a propagandist intent lay behind his choices of subject matter and the manipulation of his material. He was not above recreating events for his camera. His omissions are equally notable: he steered clear of Stalin's purges, the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and the horrors of Mao's Cultural Revolution. One American critic called him "the Soviet equivalent of Leni Riefenstahl". The continued controversy over Karmen's work goes to the heart of the nature of documentary filmaking.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


Family Members

Parents

Advertisement

Plan a visit to Novodevichy Cemetery?

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Roman Karmen?

Current rating:

16 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 15 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 23980691
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Roman Karmen (29 Nov 1906–28 Apr 1978), Find A Grave Memorial no. 23980691, citing Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .