Sofia Kovalevskaya (film)

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Sofya Kovalevskaya
Directed by Ayan Shakhmaliyeva
Written by Boris Dobrodeyev
Starring Elena Safonova
Aristarkh Livanov
Algimantas Masyulis
Lembit Ulfsak
Elena Solovey
Aleksandr Filippenko
Music by Isaak Shvarts
Cinematography Sergei Yurizditsky
Distributed by Gosteleradio, USSR.
Release date
  • April 1985 (1985-04)
Running time
220 minutes
Country Soviet Union
Language Russian

Sofya Kovalevskaya (Russian: Софья Ковалевская) is a 1985 film, directed by Ayan Shakhmaliyeva and starring Elena Safonova.


Epic film in four episodes, based on a true story of mathematician scientist Sofia Kovalevskaya. She was a Russian pioneer for women in Tzarist Russia. She was the first woman in the country to become a Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It seemed that the whole world was against her accomplishing this feat. In spite of all the obstacles she later got a Ph. D. in mathematics. However she was denied a professorship at any Russian University because of her gender. She had to go to Western Europe for continuation of her career and studies. She had a daughter and family life. Sofya Kovalevskaya was eventually recognized in Russia. Leading scientists, like Academician Ivan Sechenov, took part in her education and career.


Film was produced by Gosteleradio state production company of the Soviet Union with the production crew of Ekran Studios, Moscow., Filming dates were in 1984 and 1985. Post-production was completed by Ekran studios, and at postproduction facilities of Lenfilm studios in St. Petersburg in the spring of 1985.

Filming locations[edit]

Most scenes were filmed in St. Peterburg, Russia, where Sofia Kovalevskaya started her career in science. Some scenes of Western European cities were filmed in Baltic states. Scenes of Sofia Kovalevskaya as a student were filmed at St. Petersburg University.

Main cast[edit]

Comments and connections[edit]

  • This was the first leading role for actress Elena Safonova before she became an international film star.
  • Premiered on the National TV of the Soviet Union in April 1985.

External links[edit]