Shadows of forgotten ancestors

Тіні забутих предків
Country: USSR, 1965
Length: 97 min
Genre: Drama / Experimental
Director: Serhii Paradzhanov
Cast: Ivan Mykolaichuk, Larysa Kadochnikova

In a small Hutsul village located in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine, a young boy named Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of the man who killed his father. A Romeo and Juliet-esque romance blossoms between the two, and as the couple grows old enough to marry, Ivan leaves the village in search of work to earn money for their future, unaware of the tragedies that lie ahead. Based on the classic Ukrainian book of the same name, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors touches on a multitude of themes that include religion, family and tradition. A sensory overload on an audiovisual level, Serhii Parajanov’s one-of-a-kind film captures colour, costuming and ethnic music through chaotic if poetic camerawork. At a time when dreary Socialist Realism dominated Soviet cinema, the invention and imagination of Parajanov’s works challenged the idea of sanctioned art, utilising unprecedented techniques that redefined what cinema could be. He would be continually persecuted by the Soviet authorities till his passing in 1990.