Still from Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky
Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 film Alexander Nevsky is considered a classic on two counts. Based on a famous 13th-century victory when underdog Russian soldiers beat back an invading army, and reflecting the contemporary threat of Nazi Germany, the epic film is a masterpiece of black-and-white cinematography and almost-wordless storytelling. It also boasts what is arguably the greatest movie score ever, composed by Sergei Prokofiev. The restored film gets a rare showing next week, with the stirring music performed live by a massed chorus and one of the Valley’s great church organs. It’s a benefit for the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts and its ongoing effort to restore Holyoke’s venerable Victory Theatre.
Nov. 15, 12:15 p.m., Nov. 17, 7 p.m., $25-45 ($125 for premium seating and gala reception), United Congregational Church, Appleton & Maple Streets, Holyoke, (413) 540-0200, www.mifafestival.org.