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
First major work by Paradjanov is well worth seeing
The first major movie by the Georgian-born Armenian director Sergei Paradjanov (he has made some movies before that few people have seen, and they are apparently in the conventional Soviet style). This is set in a village in Western Ukraine, in the forested Carphatian Mountains, among the Hutsul ethnic group. The movie has a great opening, as a man is killed by a falling tree over a snow-covered mountain, with a POV from the top of the tree. After that, you get Paradjanov, with its frantic mixture of ethnography, folklore, religion, odd camera movements, music, dance, color. Among all this, a sort of plot emerges, with the story of the crazy love between Ivan and Marichka, a couple belonging to feuding families, and of Ivan's life and marriage with another woman called Palagna after Marichka's tragic death. The era in which the action takes place is never determined, though one suspects it is some centuries ago. On the whole, I like Paradjanov's future feature The Color of Pomegranates better, which I think it's far more accomplished, but I this is very much well worth seeing to any cinema lover.
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