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The Ethnic Avant-GardeMinority Cultures and World Revolution$
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Steven Lee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231173520

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231173520.001.0001

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From Avant-Garde to Authentic

From Avant-Garde to Authentic

Revisiting Langston Hughes’s “Moscow Movie”

(p.119) 3 From Avant-Garde to Authentic
The Ethnic Avant-Garde

Steven S. Lee

Columbia University Press

Chapter 3 traces the passing of the ethnic avant-garde by discussing Langston Hughes' 1956 account of his 1932 Moscow film project--specifically the account's deployment of a racially exclusive notion of cultural authenticity. However, the actual film script, discovered in Soviet archives, completely upends Hughes' dismissive description. The Russian-written script points both to a fascinating, experimental film, and to an alternate, avant-gardeist notion of authenticity.

Keywords:   "Black and White" film project, cultural authenticity, Mezhrabpomfil'm Studio, African American music, McCarthyism, Cold War

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