Ukrainian Cinema Classics

Award-winning, newly restored and digitalized films

introduced by Prof. Myroslav Shkandrij (University of Manitoba)

Ukrainian Cinema Classics

Holy Family Home, 165 Aberdeen Ave (corner of Main Street and Aberdeen)

Thursdays at 7.00 pm, January 15 to April 2

Dovzhenko’s Legacy

January 15 Dovzhenko, Arsenal (Arsenal, 1929) A classic of the silent cinema by one of the greatest directors of all time, it deals with the revolution of 1917 and ensuing civil war in Ukraine.

January 22 Dovzhenko, Earth (Zemlia, 1930) Dovzhenko’s masterpiece. It depicts a village on the eve of collectivization, but at a deeper level this is a poem to the eternally recurring cycle of life, death and rebirth.

January 29 Andrii Donchyk, Downfall of the Deities (Zahybel bohiv, 1988) Based on notes Dovzhenko made for a screenplay, the film examines a controversy about icons in a church for which local villagers served as models.


Experimental Cinema of the 1920s

February 5 Heorhii Tasin, Night Coachman (Nichnyi viznyk) This early classic of popular silent cinema depicts a coachman who develops sympathy for the revolution.

February 12 Dziga Vertov, Man with a Movie Camera (Cholovik z kinoaparatom, 1929) One of the world’s great experimental films, this documentary shows a day in the life of a city, with revealing contemporary footage from Kyiv, Odesa and Moscow.

February 26 Dziga Vertov’s Enthusiasm (Entuziazm, 1930) Subtitled “Symphony of the Donbas,” this was the first Ukrainian sound film. Made on the eve of industrialization, it reflects hopes for the country’s transformation.

Revival of the Sixties and Seventies

March 5 Serhii Paradzhanov, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv, 1964) The film that started the rebirth of Ukrainian cinema and launched the careers of several great actors. Based on Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky’s classic story, it describes the love of Ivanko and Marichka, and the life of Hutsuls in the Carpathian mountains.

March 12 Yurii Illienko, The White Bird with a Black Mark (Bilyi Ptakh z Chornoiu Oznakoiu, 1972) Memorable for its recreation of local traditions in the Carpathian mountains, when it first appeared this film caused controversy because it showed the hard choices villagers had to make during the Second World War.

March 19 Leonid Osyka, The Stone Cross (Kaminnyi Khrest, 1968) Beautifully-filmed and based on the works of Vasyl Stefanyk, this classic of the sixties shows a family in Western Ukraine as they prepare to emigrate to Canada.


New Cinema

March 26 Oles Sanin, Mamai (Mamai, 2004) A recreation of an ancient duma or folk epic, it deals with Cossacks struggles against invaders in the steppes of southern Ukraine, and the complex identity resulted from these conflicts.

April 2 Serhii Bukovsky, Nazvy svoie imia (Call Your Name, 2006) Praised by Steven Spielberg, this is a sensitive look at how a group of young Ukrainians gather information from eyewitnesses of the Holocaust and try to understand this difficult history.

Admission is free and all are welcome

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