For years I searched in vain for another movie in the world that has the same approach and spirit as "Derevnya Utka". I thought that at least Scandinavians should have made such a movie but obviously no one else did it. Probably the only movie which goes somewhat close to "Derevnya Utka" is Finnish "Rölli ja metsänhenki".
So what's that unique about "Derevnya Utka"? First and most important: it is a magical story set in a village. It's not like those that "folklorish" western horror, fantasy or fairy-tale movies about leprechauns and dwarfs, the reality of "Derevnya Utka" is a reality of village people, where existence in a close contact with the nature makes many incredible fancies taken for granted. Actually it's a childish point of view, naive, but nevertheless it makes human lives brighter and gives those special supernatural feelings which are lost to matter-centric city-dwellers. "Derevnya Utka" tells us a story of Olya, an adolescent girl spending her summer holidays in the village Utka with her grandma. One day of her rather lonely life she meets a shishok (a Russian analogue of brownie) who lives in the walls of a huge barn. Slightly hostile at first, the shishok eventually becomes her best friend. Taking into account the folklore reality of the village world, it's no wonder that Olya's grandmother soon also becomes acquainted with the shishok who turns out to be a kind of an old spirit of her hearth and home. Of course, there's more behind the story and sometimes it provokes much deeper feelings than one may suppose from such a family-oriented movie, and that's another wonderful side of this unique film, though to feel those things you possibly need to be a bit shishok yourself.
In 2008 "Derevnya Utka" has been released by RUSCICO on a DVD with English subtitles.
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