New Russian club sponsors movie night

Ally Taylor

The newly formed Russian Area Cultural Society held their first official social event, a movie night, on Feb. 23, in a West campus apartment.

After a few organizational meetings, the club decided to sponsor the movie night as an informal event intended to give current club members a break from classes and to attract new interest.

To advertise, the club posted flyers around campus and recruited heavily in Russian language classes.

The featured film was “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” a dramatic comedy tracing the experiences of three women living in the Soviet Union.

“I think we had a good time,” Michael Szustak, club president and co-founder, said. After a brief meeting and a few slices of pizza, the movie began.

The atmosphere was light and comfortable, with many side conversations springing up among viewers, mainly to laugh at the less-than-perfectly translated English subtitles.

The Russian club is new to campus this semester, but has been a topic of discussion for two years.

“I thought we needed a Russian club. We have a Russian Area Studies program and lots of Russian students go here,” Szustak said. He had been asked by Boris Briker, a Russian language professor, to start the club.

Informal groups of interested students have been planning trips to Russian restaurants, movies and one expedition to the Guggenheim in New York City to see the extensive Russian art exhibit, “Russia!” before the official cultural society existed.

Although the attendance of the movie night was not as high as Szustak expected, he remains hopeful.

“We’re just starting. I think we’ll start to get more of a turnout,” he said. As to the dedication of club members, he said, “They are definitely very committed.”

Szustak has high expectations for next year, hoping to gain campus-wide recognition, recruit more members and sponsor at least one new event.

The club also joined the Polish club for their semi-formal at the Golden Gates in Northeast Philadelphia, an area of the city with a number of residents of Russian descent.

Plans are underway to hold more movie nights before the end of the year, take a trip to the Russian section of Philadelphia and go on a larger excursion to Briton Beach, the “Little Russia” of New York City.