Pyotr Chardynin

Domik v Kolomne
(The Little House at Kolomna)
R: Pyotr Chardynin. B: Alexander Pushkin. K: Wladyslaw Starewicz. D: Praskovya Maksimova, Sofya Goslavskaya, Ivan Mozhukhin. Bauten: Boris Mikhin. P: Khanzhonkov. RUS 1913

>>> Peter Cochran’s essay on Alexander Pushkin

Pyotr (Peter, Petr) Chardynin was a prolific silent film director who made over 100 silent films in Russia, France, Germany, and Soviet Union. (…) During the 1890s he was an actor and director in several cities of Central Russia, such as Belgorod, Orekhovo-Zuevo, Uralsk, and Vologda. In 1901 he played the title role in the Shakespeare‘s ‘Hamlet’ in Vologda, then moved to Moscow. From 1908 – 1910 he was member of the troupe at Vvedensky Narodny Dom in Moscow. There Chardynin met Aleksandr Khanzhonkov who invited him to work in movies. Chardynin replaced French directors and cinematographers, becoming the principal director for Khanzhonkov. He also brought in several fellow stage actors, such as Ivan Mozhukhin and Nathalie Lissenko, and made them leading stars of Russian silent film.
Chardynin directed over 30 films for Khanzhonkov. He also appeared as actor in several silent films. (…) As director, Chardynin did not survive serious competition from Yevgeni Bauer, and left the Khanzhonkov’s film company. In 1916 Chardynin with Vera Kholodnaya and several other leading actors joined the D Kharitonov studio of Dimitrij Charitonov in Odessa. There Chardynin made several successful films starring Vera Kholodnaya. After the death of Kholodnaya in 1919, he tried to work for the new Soviet Communist regime, albeit the Soviet propaganda was not exactly his style.
In 1920 Chardynin accepted invitation to work for Dimitrij Charitonov in Rome, Italy. Then he had a brief stint at ‘Gomon’ studio in Paris, then worked for stage projects in Berlin, Germany. From 1921 – 1923 Chardynin lived and worked in Riga, Latvia. There he directed four silent films. In 1923 he was visited by a special envoy from Odessa and was invited to work at Odessa Film Studio. There he directed several costume dramas and epics about the history of Ukraine, such as Taras Shevchenko (1926) and Cherevichki (1928), among his other films. In 1930 Chardynin was censored by the Soviet authorities and was banned from working in films. He suffered from a serious emotional breakdown, and eventually developed a liver cancer. He died on August 14, 1934, in Odessa, Ukraine, Soviet Union (now Odesa, Ukraine), and was laid to rest in Odessa.”
Steve Shelokhonov