Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a boldly conceived and astonishingly photographed blend of enchanting mythology, hypnotic religious iconography, and pagan magic. And although its unsentimental depiction of the harsh realities of Russian regional history forced visionary director Sergei Pararadjanov (The Color of Pomegranates) into direct conflict with bureaucrats then controlling the Soviet film industry, the film became an international sensation when it was released in 1964.
"There is no devil in church, only among men." Deep 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. While young Ivan's mother mourns her husband's brutal murder, 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. Unhappily married to another woman and cursed by a sorcerer in this life, Ivan's obsession with his lost love lures him ever closer to a reunion with Marichka in death.
In this DVD edition, Kino is proud to present one of the landmarks of 1960's world cinema in a new transfer that restores Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors in all the extravagant color, vivid tragedy, and lucid anthropological detail that stunned audiences when it first premiered.
USSR 1964 97 min. Color (1.33:1)
In Ukrainian with optional English, French or Spanish subtitles
A film by SERGEI PARADJANOV
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS
Starring IVAN MIKOLAJCHUK LARISA KADOCHNIKOVA TATYANA BESTAYEVA
SPARTAK BAGASHVILI NIKOLAI GRINKO and LEONID YENGIBAROV
Production Design MIKHAIL RAKOVSKY and G. YAKUTOVICH
Costume Design LIDIYA BAJKOVA Editing M. PONOMARENKO
Cinematography VIKTOR BESTAYEV and YURI ILYENKO
Original Music by MIROSLAV SKORIK
Written by IVAN CHENDEJ and SERGEI PARADJANOV
>From the story by MIKHAYLO KOVSYUBINSKIY
Assistant Director DAVID ABASHIDZE
Directed by SERGEI PARADJANOV
© 1964 Dovzhenko Film Studio
© 2007 Ruscico
"...A lurid narrative, to be sure, but in Paradjanov's hands the story is secondary to the flamboyant, poetic style, which combines oodles of color, lyrical camera movement, great swaths of music and operatic performances, and an emphasis on myth and ritual, to fashion a visionary portrait of a past that may not always be comprehensible but is steadily fascinating." ***1/2 Recommended Video Librarian
"(PARADJANOV'S) GREATEST WORK...full of visual surprises and fearless leaps in style." - Edward Guthman, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE