Buchma, Amvrosii [Бучма, Амвросій; Bučma, Amvrosij], b 14 March 1891 in Lviv, d 6 January 1957 in Kyiv. Prominent stage and screen actor, director, and teacher. Buchma began his stage career at the Ruska Besida Theater in Lviv in 1906. An officer of the Austrian Army during the First World War, Buchma was captured by the Russians and incarcerated in prisoner camps in the Donets Basin and Uzbekistan. In 1917 Buchma escaped to Kyiv, where he studied at the Lysenko Music and Drama School and performed at the Sadovsky's Theater. In 1921 he worked in the Franko New Drama Theater in Vinnytsia and in 1922–6 in the Berezil theater in Kyiv, where he played such memorable roles as Jimmie Higgins in an adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s novel, Leiba in an adaptation of Taras Shevchenko’s Haidamaky (The Haidamakas), Jean in Prosper Mérimée’s La Jacquerie, and the Fool in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. At the same time he became a film actor and later left the theater to devote himself solely to the cinema (1926–30). The main roles in which he appeared in these years were those of Jimmie Higgins, Mykola Dzheria, Taras Shevchenko, Taras Triasylo (in films of the same titles), the leading role of Hordii in Nichnyi viznyk (The Night Coachman) and the German soldier in Oleksander Dovzhenko’s Arsenal. In 1930–6 Buchma returned to the Berezil theater (called the Kharkiv Ukrainian Drama Theater from 1935), now in Kharkiv, and played such roles as Dudar in Ivan Mykytenko’s Dyktatura (The Dictatorship), Puzyr in Ivan Karpenko-Kary’s Khaziain (The Master), and Haidai and Krechet in Oleksander Korniichuk’s Zahybel’ eskadry (The Destruction of the Squadron) and Platon Krechet. From 1936 to 1954 Buchma worked as an actor and director in the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater and in film. His was one of the best portrayals of Mykola Zadorozhny in Ivan Franko’s Ukradene shchastia (Stolen Happiness).
Buchma played in over 200 different roles. He depicted comic, dramatic, and tragic figures equally well. He directed the film Za stinoiu (Behind the Wall, 1928) and Taras Shevchenko’s play Nazar Stodolia at the Kyiv Ukrainian Drama Theater in 1942 (he also co-directed this play with Leontii Dubovyk in 1951) and co-directed Ivan Kotliarevsky’s Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava) at the Kyiv Theater of Opera and Ballet with Volodymyr Manzii in 1951. From 1940 Buchma lectured at the Kyiv Institute of Theater Arts and in 1945–8 was the artistic director of the Kyiv Artistic Film Studio.
Burevii, K. Amvrosii Buchma (Kharkiv 1933)
Piskun, I. A.M. Buchma (Kyiv 1956)
Babyshkin, O. Amvrosii Buchma v kino (Kyiv 1966)
Kosach, Iu. Amvrosii Buchma (Kyiv 1978)
[This article was updated in 2021.]
Encyclopedia of Ukraine