Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30 PM — The Auditorium at NEIU — 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Tickets: $10 at the door

Directed by Sergei Parajanov • 1965
In Ukrainian with English subtitles
The sound of roaring trumpets introduces the epic love story of Ivanko and Marichka, Hutsul villagers from the West Ukrainian region of the Carpathian mountains. This impressionistic and resplendent poetic drama from the uncompromising Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov is a landmark of Ukrainian cinema and a zesty deviation from the artistic limitations imposed by the USSR, where socialist realism was the approved art style from 1932 to 1988. Released four years before Parajanov’s seminal, non-narrative The Color of Pomegranates, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is narratively-focused, though still thrillingly fantastical. It tells the sorrowful story of two lovers drawn to each other despite an act of violence committed by Marichka’s father that occurs during their childhood. Recalling the 1911 novel by Ukrainian author Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky upon which the film was based, Parajanov said, “I fell in love with this crystally-clear feel for beauty, harmony and infinity.” The film offers a kaleidoscopic approach to images and techniques, Parajanov jumping from idea to idea with gusto as an inventive and propulsive folk-inspired score from composer Myroslav Skoryk blasts in the background. The film led to international acclaim for Parajanov, although the attention he continued to receive as a filmmaker would later prove burdensome: he was sent to a Siberian labor camp in the 1970s, where he remained for four years. In a latter-day interview, Parajanov stated, “Directing is basically the truth transformed into images: sorrow, hope, love, beauty.” And what images! (RIN)
97 min • Dovzhenko Film Studios • 35mm from Kino Lorber

Preceded by: “The Roaring Road” (1964) – 10 min – 35mm

NEXT UP: The Bright Shawl on Monday, November 6 at Music Box