U.S.S.R. • 1964 • subtitled • COLOUR • 97 MIN

Sergei Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a boldly conceived and astonishingly photographed blend of enchanting mythology, hypnotic religious iconography and pagan magic. Deep in the Carpathian mountains of 19th century Ukraine, love, hate, life and death among the Gutsul people are as they’ve been since time began. Young Ivan (played by the great Ukrainian actor Ivan Mykolaychuk) is drawn to Marichka (Larisa Kadochnikova), the beautiful young daughter of the man who killed his father, but fate tragically decrees that the two lovers will remain apart. Parajanov studied with the folk-pantheist filmmaking genius Alexander Dovzhenko, and his film is a folk ballad that’s not so much lyrical as lysergic. His impossible camera angles, his use of bold superimpositions and pagan mythology, make for ethnographic cinema run wild. Shadows is an overwhelmingly beautiful work in which a sad, short, brutalised life is elevated to ecstatic myth.

Plus A Dangerously Free Man (Nebezpechno vil’na liudyna), director Roman Shyrman’s documentary about legendary filmmaker Sergei Parajanov. Ukraine • 2004 • Subtitled • Colour • Digital video • 52 min

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