“His work has to do with precision of understanding and portrayal, humour in both, and fellowship as an ideal.” Peter Sainsbury
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THE PASTERNAKS (1978)
“ Nick Gifford’s fine slow-burning documentaries all work by the same set of principles: to get as close to the subjects as possible, but not to use them: and to allow them to speak for themselves - no spurious manufacture of narrative or telling structuralizing.
‘The Pasternaks’ is an extended interview with Boris Pasternak’s two septuagenarian sisters, who both live in Oxford. They both reminisce wonderfully about their father Leonid (a painter who seems to have crossed the subject matter of Millet with Impressionist technique) and the family, via a collection of photos, paintings and drawings. The description of Boris’ funeral, where thousands flocked to the unannounced ceremony, is most moving.
What emerges from Gifford’s most ‘conventional’ documentary subject is a Jamesian pastel portrait of a rather respectable artistic family, living through extraordinary times”
CHRIS PEACHMENT - TIME OUT 1980
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