Simon Gutman and his poster for the movie 'Nina'

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This is me and the poster i created for the movie ?Nina?. The main character of the film was a young girl from a partizan brigade. The photo was taken in Riga in the 1960s.

I had an attraction for cinema, inherited from my father, and I went to work in film advertising. They gave me photographs, and I made drawings for the ARS company. That company used to show Soviet and American films. I made posters for the Soviet films. The posters without text were used all over the pre-Baltic countries. Later I gave the originals of my posters to a cinema archive. Simultaneously, I made some additional money as a caricaturist. I signed my pictures Gutman.

In 1940 there were meetings with many well-known Soviet artistic figures. We received a prominent Soviet film director Grigori Aleksandrov and actor Lyubov Orlova. Then we had a meeting with writer Mikhail Zoshchenko. I worked with the Riga magazine Crocodile then.

After the war my friend Gudkin invited me to work in the cinema company in 1945. I stayed there all the time, up to my retirement age. I became a member of the Union of Artists of Latvia and took part in many exhibitions. There were exhibitions of caricaturists, placard-artists, and performances by the front artists. Readers of The Soviet Latvia of the elder generation know me very well. My caricatures were constantly published. The caricatures were political. During the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 1967 I was telling everybody, that I wasn't Simon Israelevich, but Simon Aggressorovich! Yes, I'm a humorist, an actor, a film director, and when I feel high emotionally, I can write verses. I wrote verses not so long ago. When I worked at the film-studio, I composed poems for amateur performances. I retired rather late. My labor experience is 45 years.

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Interviewee: Simon Gutman
Svetlana Kovalchuk
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Riga, Latvia


Simon Gutman
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    Shortening of the family name in 1940

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