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The best Ukrainian movie
After creation of Soviet Union the cultures of all nations except Russians were oppressed here. Many cultural figures of Ukraine (writers, poets, scientists, theater and movie directors, actors, painters, musicians, folk artists, etc) undesirable for Soviet regime were executed or exiled to Siberia on the hard physical works, especially during the 1930s (it is known as Executed Renaissance). Among such figures were bandurists, the folk musicians who played on the bandura (Ukrainian folk string instrument) and sign mainly the patriotic sad ballads about cossacks, the Ukrainian steppe warriors of the 15-19 centuries.
Main plot of this movie is a story of a blind wondering bandurist Ivan Kocherga in 1932-1933. Accidentally he gives some help to American boy Peter, whose father was killed by Soviet special services because of some secret documents, and takes him as sighted person the guide.
Blind bandurist and his young guide are traveling in Eastern Ukraine among the beautiful landscapes and witnessing repressions of Ukrainian people by Soviet regime.
This movie is excellently visualized, which is combined with great music, including numerous Ukrainian folk songs.
It is clearly the best movie about Ukrainian culture since famous "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" (1965) of Sergei Parajanov and definitely the best one that was filmed in independent Ukraine so far.
Under the Skin (2013)
An aesthetic piece of art "not for all"
This is a contradictory movie, not all will like it and someone will find it disturbing. It is almost not related to a book prototype and probably should be considered as a separate work, not an adaptation. But nevertheless it is quite significant in a few ways.
"Under the Skin" is a philosophical parable that is open to the different interpretations and allows viewers to think by them self. In a way it gives a look on our society from outside, from the view of an alien. It is combined with a brilliant visual imagery that accompanied by the same great musical score. Image is excellent both due to the cinematography and Scarlett Johansson's performance. So I'll consider it as an aesthetic piece of art "not for all". If you like an European intellectual "art house", like Bergman or Trier, then maybe you will like it. But an average consumer of the movies with Scarlett Johansson can be shocked in a bad way here (and big respect to her for acting in so various cinema).