Tag Archives: Ukrainian

Oles Yanchuk – Holod-33 AKA Famine-33 (1991)

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The film depicts the 1932-33 Soviet-engineered famine in Ukraine, and is based on the novel The Yellow Prince by Vasyl Barka.

Emanuel Levy writes in his blog (edited for spoilers): “Through the eyes of Katrannyk, his wife Kateryna, and their three children, pic shows the devastating effects of the mass famine caused by the state’s seizure of crops. It forcefully chronicles the brutality of Stalin’s army, their raids on fields and physical torture of farmers. Death is everywhere: the ground is covered with bodies; desolate farmers hang themselves on trees. Read More »

Viktor Ivanov – Oleksa Dovbush (1959)

Story about Oleksa Dovbush, a famous Ukrainian outlaw, who became a folk hero, often compared to Robin Hood. Read More »

Yuri Ilyenko – Vecher nakanune Ivana Kupala AKA The Eve of Ivan Kupala (1968)

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Banned by the Soviet authorities, Vecher nakanune Ivana Kupala (The Eve of Ivan Kupalo) is widely held to be one of the masterpieces of Ukrainian Poetic Cinema. Adapted from a short story of Gogol, which had its roots in Ukrainian folklore, the film depicts an almost Faustian pact, in which Piotr makes an unholy deal with Bassaruv in order that he may win the hand of Pidorka from her father. The director Yuri Ilyenko brings the same rich, vivid imagery that he lent to Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors where he worked as the cinematographer. The film often makes difficult first viewing for unaccustomed viewers due to its hallucinatory nature, but its lucid tapestry renders it a mandatory experience. Read More »