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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)
"Tini zabutykh predkiv" (original title)

 -  Drama | History  -  1964 (Ukraine)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 3,085 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 31 critic

In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (short story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ivan Mykolaichuk ...
Ivan
Larisa Kadochnikova ...
Marichka
Tatyana Bestayeva ...
Palagna
Spartak Bagashvili ...
Yurko
Nikolay Grinko ...
Batag
Leonid Yengibarov ...
Miko
Nina Alisova ...
Paliychuk
Aleksandr Gaj ...
Paliychuk (as O. Gaj)
Neonila Gnepovskaya ...
Gutenyuk
A. Raydanov ...
Gutenyuk
I. Dzyura ...
Ivan as a Child
V. Glyanko ...
Marichka as a Child
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
O. Ryazanov
Edit

Storyline

In a Carpathian village, Ivan falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of his father's killer. When tragedy befalls her, his grief lasts months; finally he rejoins the colorful life around him, marrying Palagna. She wants children but his mind stays on his lost love. To recapture his attention, Palagna tries sorcery, and in the process comes under the spell of the sorcerer, publicly humiliating Ivan, who then fights the sorcerer. The lively rhythms of village life, the work and the holidays, the pageant and revelry of weddings and funerals, the change of seasons, and nature's beauty give proportion to Ivan's tragedy. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A New Kind of Soviet Film...acclaimed around the world at all film festivals

Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1964 (Ukraine)  »

Also Known As:

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Sovcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For decades it has been believed that "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" won the British Academy Award. This was most notably stated in the famous "Film Encyclopedia" by Ephraim Katz. Recently, however, the disciple of Sergei Parajanov, Martiros Vartanov, obtained on official confirmation from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), which stated that the movie was not a BAFTA award recipient; although in 1965 the film won the Grand Prix at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival and a record number of other awards on the festival circuit. See more »

Goofs

When the two children run down the hill to have a bath in the river, the entire camera rig, including the operator, can be seen in a shadow on the ground. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.8 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Won six international film festival awards—this depiction of Hutsul culture should be in libraries, public and personal, worldwide!
17 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Good news/bad news. The good news is that Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Shadows), a truly exceptional film, is out in DVD format—and, the color reproduction was well worth waiting for. It's based on a masterpiece novel of the same name written by Ukrainian author (late 19th-early 20th centuries) Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky.

Journey into the past and experience the world-renowned Ukrainian Hutsul folklore and folkways that encyclopedists, historians, and authors depict by way of words and the film gives credence to via imagery, moods, symbolism, and sounds. Avenues you'll travel will branch off, giving you exposure to artistic embroideries, folk music, folk songs, ornate costumes, religious ceremonies, and traditional rituals (such as a traditional Hutsul wedding and a traditional Hutsul burial), along the way.

Folklife comes alive as you float down a river in a unique wooden raft, partake in Christmas festivities, encounter a sorcerer, and lots more--all against a backdrop of the magnificent Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, where trees' shadows silhouette straight as they stretch for the stars and for the skies, where horses dress in tassels as they meander meadows and highlands, where Hutsuls converse across Carpathian Mountains via trembitas--and, where Ivan cannot forget his true love.

Shadows isn't your typical feel-good film--it's for the connoisseur of fine arts. If you want your senses stimulated, your imagination enlivened, and your knowledge of Hutsul culture expanded, then, this is the film for you!

Film director, Sergei Parajanov, was an Armenian born in Georgia. He insisted on filming Shadows in the Ukrainian language and refused to dub it into Russian. In his lifetime, he was persecuted by the Soviets, was arrested several times, spent years in prison, and his subsequent works were banned.

Later renamed Wild Horses of Fire for most foreign distributions, Shadows was Parajanov's first major work, and earned him international acclaim for its rich use of color and costume--it won six international film festival awards: London, San Francisco, Mar del Plata, New York, Montreal, and Thessaloniki.

Wikipedia states that Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan borrowed the title of their book, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are, from the movie of that same name, which they state has little in common with the "haunting 1964 film."

The bad news is that a number of descriptive entries are inaccurate. Reading the misleading descriptions on the VHS/DVD covers give the impression that the film is Russian. This film is licensed by Kino from the Russian distributor Ruscico, which is probably why the descriptions refer incorrectly to Russian rather than Ukrainian.

1. The descriptions on both the VHS and DVD covers state, in part, "depiction of the harsh realities of Russian regional history...." The phrase "Russian regional history" is incorrect and should read: "Ukrainian regional history." Not only is the film in the Ukrainian language, the Hutsuls are Ukrainians living in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, and the film is based on a novel by Ukrainian author Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky (1864-1913).

Update: This has now been changed to good news on Amazon.com: the copy now reads "Ukrainian regional history." However, anybody looking at the actual VHS or DVD covers will still see these erroneous descriptions; thus, these points still need to be highlighted as incorrect.

2. Correction is also needed in the reference: "And although its unsentimental depiction of the harsh realities of Russian (sic—as referenced in no. 1 above) regional history forced visionary director Sergei Pararadjanov (The Color of Pomegranates) into direct conflict with bureaucrats then controlling the Soviet film industry...."

Director Parajanov insisted on filming his adaptation in the Ukrainian language and refused to dub it into Russian--that's what caused his conflict with Communist authorities--not his portrayal of the "harsh realities of Russian (sic—as referenced in no. 1 above) regional history." However, anybody looking at the VHS or DVD covers will still see these erroneous descriptions; thus, these points still need to be highlighted as incorrect.

To see 45 photos depicting Hutsuls while learning more about their culture, please visit Amazon.com and click on "images" in Mandrivnyk's book review of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a must see/must own DVD--at the very least, it should appear worldwide on library shelves and in personal collections. This DVD definitely deserves 10-stars!—Mandrivnyk

P. S. To see over 650 photos (with notes) of Ukraine that I took in 1993 and 1994, please visit the profile page of Mandrivnyk (Arlington Heights, IL) on Amazon.com. Visit each review (to view the photos in sequential order); if you visit the image gallery, you'll see the photos in random order. They'll enhance your knowledge and understanding of Ukraine and Ukrainians.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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