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SHADOWS OF OUR FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS

USSR, 1966 (MIFF 1967, Programme 4)

Director: Sergey Paradjhanov

This vivid, detailed reconstruction of a bygone age shows the customs and traditions in the villages of Carpathia in the south-west Ukraine during the nineteenth century. The panorama of life, including births, deaths, weddings, harvest and religious festivals, is contained in this episodic story of a young man who, after the death of his sweetheart, marries without love. As his new wife seeks aid from rituals of witchcraft, the emotional atmosphere becomes more and more enriched with folklore.

The director has made the film with audacious panache by constantly interweaving the past and the world of occult visions. He uses this view of life as a means of illustrating, in broad camera flourishes, a dream world of old Russia, as alive and uncontrollable as the people within it.

Grand Prix, Mar del Plata Festival.

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