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2,313 Ratings

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

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Directed by Sergei Parajanov
Soviet Union, 1964
Drama, History, Avant-Garde


In the Carpathian Mountains of 19th-century Ukraine, love, hate, life and death among the Hutsul people are as they’ve been since time began. Ivan is drawn to Marichka, the beautiful young daughter of the man who killed his father. But fate tragically decrees that the two lovers will remain apart.

Our take

This masterpiece is an unjustly under-viewed classic of Soviet cinema. Driven by wild, almost hallucinatory visuals, the film moves with the force of a runaway train, but never does its style overwhelm the story at its heart: a haunting tale of unfulfilled love.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors Directed by Sergei Parajanov

Critics reviews

Naturalism is never a priority for Parajanov or his actors, who jump back and forth between mad happiness, dull resignation, and murderous rage so quickly that it can be a little confusing. The romantic leads are wooden and stilted, but the craggy ensemble, whose expressionism and physicality borders on mime, is wonderful.
July 26, 2013
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