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 Yvan Kyrlya


Born:   17 March 1909
Deceased:   July 1943

Mari Soviet actor and poet

      

Yuvan Kyrlya (real name Kirill Ivanovich Ivanov, 17 March 1909 — July 1943) was a Mari Soviet actor and poet, famous for his role of Mustafa Fert in the first Soviet sound film Road to Life (Putyovka v zhizn) (1931).

He was born into a poor peasant family. His father was killed by kulaks for his active participation in the Committee of poor peasants, so Yuvan’s mother was left alone with three kids. The boy lived in the village, worked as a farm labourer, a herdsman, and had to beg also.

He finished first stage school in Marisol and left for Sernur to go on studying at the second stage of school. In autumn of 1926 the Komsomol Committee of Mari Autonomous Region assigned him to study at workers' courses in Kazan University. The teachers noticed his outstanding artistic gift and in summer 1929 gave him an assignment to the Actor’s Department of the State Cinematography School.

Among the students of ethnic studios Yuvan was invited to partake in crowd scenes during production of the first Soviet sound feature film Road to Life. After watching its first episode the film director Nikolai Ekk took notice of the young actor and appointed him to play the waifs’ leader Mustafa. So while studying at the Cinematography School Yuvan was engaged in the filming for about two years. Many of Mustafa’s phrases taken right from the surrounding life of common people became popular sayings.

After graduation the actor worked at the Vostokfilm Studio; in 1934—1936 he took part in filming of Buddha’s Vicar (by director Yevgeni Ivanov-Barkov), where he played the lama. During the shooting he lived in Mongolia with the rest of the crew. In 1937 Yuvan Kyrlya moved to Ioshkar Ola, the capital of Mari-El, to play in the Mari State Drama Theatre.

In addition to his actor’s talent Yuvan Kyrlya was also a poet. Three books of his poetry saw the light in his life time.

Little is known about the last years of the poet’s life. “The rumors spread that he had died at war” (Mikhail Zharov). There is a version that on 23 April 1937 he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years on a charge of “counter-revolutionary activity”. However, the composer Sigizmund Kats testified that he had met Yuvan and talked to him in 1941, when the actor was passing through Moscow. According to official data, Yvan Kyrlya died in one of the Urals prison camps in July 1943.

One of the streets of Ioshkar Ola was named after Yvan Kyrlya in March 1969.


Tags: Russian cinema Russian actors    




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