Skip to main content

Mikhail Naumovich Kalik Papers

Identifier: MSE/REE0034

Scope and Contents

The papers document the professional life of Mikhail Naumovich Kalik (1927-2017), a celebrated Soviet and Israeli film director and screenwriter. The papers consist of official documents, contracts, film scripts and stills, photographs on film sets, professional correspondence, press releases, promotional materials, posters, and copies of Kalik’s feature films and documentary films.

Also included in the Archive are published and unpublished manuscripts by Kalik, copies of interviews with Kalik, scholarly works about his work, newspaper clippings, film festival catalogs and awards. Of special note are Kalik’s photo albums containing photographs and ephemera about his filmmaking career. The Archive also includes selected personal documents and family photographs.


  • Creation: 1944 - 2015


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research; however, folders 197 and 198 are restricted due to personal confidential information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Mikhail Naumovich Kalik was born on January 29, 1927 in Arkhangelsk into a secular Jewish family. The son of a theater actor, Kalik grew up in Moscow. From 1946 to 1949, he studied theater and acting at Moscow’s GITIS (State Institute for Theatre Art). In 1949 Kalik transferred to Moscow’s celebrated VGIK film school (All-Soviet State Institute of Film and Cinematography) to pursue a career in film directing. In 1951, Kalik was arrested, accused of “anti-Soviet and Zionist propaganda and conspiracy” and sentenced to twenty years of hard labor camps in the Gulag. Fortuitously, Kalik was among the first to be released after Stalin’s death. Rehabilitated, Kalik returned to Moscow in 1954 and was reinstated at VGIK, from which he graduated, with distinction, in 1958. His mentors were Mikhail Il’ich Romm and Sergei Iosifovich Iutkevich.

Kalik made his first two feature films with co-directors: with Boris Rytsarev “Iunost nashikh ottsov”/“The Youth of Our Fathers”, 1958; with Boris Rytsarev and Olga Olitskaia “Atoman Kodr”, 1959. His first solo feature film debut was “Kolybelnaia”/“Lullaby”, 1960, followed by “Chelovek idet za solntsem”/“Man Follows the Sun”, 1961 and “Do svidaniia, mal’chiki!”/“Goodbye, Boys!”, 1964.

From his very first films, Kalik became one of the leaders of the “poetic cinema” movement in the Soviet New Wave of the 1960s. Despite the domestic and international acclaim, all his films were subjected to heavy ideological censorship and showing in the movie theaters only after long delays and substantial editing. Some of Kalik’s feature film projects, including his screenplay “Korol Matiush i Staryi Doktor”/”King Matias and the Old Doctor” (about children and the Holocaust) were rejected by the Soviet authorities and were never realized. The heavily censored version of Kalik’s last Soviet feature film “Liubit”/“To Love”, 1968, was released by authorities with substantial cuts. Despite Kalik’s protests, Kalik’s name was not removed from the film credits of the heavily censored, official version of the film. Kalik’s last work in the Soviet Union was the television film “Tsena”/“The Price”, 1969, based on Arthur Miller’s famous play “Death of a Salesman”. After Kalik applied for an emigration visa to Israel in the fall of 1970, all his productions were banned and shelved for many years.

Kalik immigrated to Israel in November 1971 and settled in Jerusalem with his wife and two children. Kalik’s first and only Israeli feature film was “Three and One”, 1975. It was followed by short television films “Pantomima”, 1976, and “Skazka dlia vzroslykh”/“Fairy Tail for Adults”, 1978. Kalik also made several documentary films, including “Neotpravlennoe Pismo v Moskvu”/“Unsent letter to Moscow”, 1977, “Galilee”, 1983, “Den pamiati”/“Day of Remembrance”, 1981, “Otpusti narod moi”/“Let My People Go”, 1983, “Israel”, 1987.

In 1989, at the peak of Gorbachev perestroika, the USSR Filmmakers Union invited Kalik to Moscow and commissioned an autobiographical feature film. Completed in 1992, “I vozvrashchiaetsia veter…”/“And the Wind Returneth…”, was to become Kalik’s last film. It received numerous international awards and was shown at most major film festivals around the world.

Kalik died in Jerusalem on March 31, 2017.


17.5 Cubic Feet (5 record storage boxes, oversize materials stored in seven F1 boxes, and in communal F2, F3 and Oversize boxes)

Language of Materials





The collection is arranged chronologically by these categories: Works by Mikhail Kalik, including materials about his films, published and unpublished manuscripts, film stills, official correspondence, and photographs about his films and professional life (folders 1-96) ; Film Festivals (folders 97-125), including film festival catalogs, ephemera materials, correspondence and photographs; Interviews with Kalik and Works by Others about Kalik (folders 126-149); Personal Documents and Awards, including correspondence with friends and colleagues and family photographs (150-189); Other Materials (190-198).

Natasha Lyandres
November 8, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556