UK Premiere: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

UK Premiere: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

classified 12A S

Restored & Rediscovered


Sun 28 July 18:30

Cinema 1, Watershed

Sergei Parajanov
Ivan Mykolaichuk, Larisa Kadochnikova, Tatyana Bestayeva.
110 mins, Subtitled, 1965, Soviet Union
Primary language

On this 100th anniversary of his birth, we celebrate Sergei Parajanov’s enduring legacy. He is a master cine-poet, capable of taking seemingly simple stories into soaring works of visual language. The Georgian-born filmmaker made work all over the former Soviet Union, as and when conditions allowed in various republics, and Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is one of his many masterpieces, and one of the totemic examples of the rich tradition of Ukrainian Poetic Cinema.

Deep in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, despite the hostility between their families (Marichka’s father had killed Ivan’s in a feud).

When Marichka dies in an accident, Ivan is heartbroken, until he meets Palahna. The two marry in joy, and yet, despite that, Ivan is still beset by grief, sorrow, and memories of Marichka, reality melding into dreams and back again.

Here he takes a simple Romeo and Juliet story, set amongst Ukrainian Hutsuls (an ethnic minority largely based in the Carpathians) and based on a 1911 novel by Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky, and unfurls to its full glory, now beautifully restored.

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, The Film Heritage Foundation and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory.

With an introduction by Professor Ian Christie (Birkbeck College, London).

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