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A restored version of ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’ will be shown for the first time at the Venice Film Festival

At the 80th Venice Film Festival, which will be held from August 30 to September 9, Ukrainian classics will be shown for the first time. Sergei Parajanov’s drama ‘Tini zabutykh predkiv’ (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) is included in the Venice Classics program, where Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘One from the Heart’, William Friedkin’s ‘The Exorcist’ and Terence Malick’s ‘Days of Heaven’ will also be shown

‘Tini zabutykh predkiv (Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors) by Sergei Parajanov revealed to the world the remarkable qualities of the great Armenian-Ukrainian director despised by Soviet authorities for his work, which takes a visionary surrealistic approach to the popular traditions of the Caucasian peoples’, the program’s description on the page reads.

The screening was initiated by film critic Andriy Alferov, who negotiated with the management of the film festival and also co-curated the exhibition of the same name at Dovzhenko Centre together with Pavlo Gudimov.

Among the two restored versions of the film — 2012 and 2015 — the first version, which was carried out under the first block of the restored films program, was selected. This was told in a Facebook post by the former head of Dovzhenko Centre Ivan Kozlenko. Together with the current head of the center Olena Honcharuk, he chose the restored version of 2012, because it ‘was made with limited technical means, however, retained the authentic coloristics and softness of tone of the reference positive copy stored in Dovzhenko Centre’.

The Venice Classics program will also feature Luchino Visconti’s ‘Bellissima’, Agnès Varda’s ‘Varelserna’, Orson Welles’ ‘Portrait of Gina’ and the director’s cut of ‘Andrei Rublev’ by Andrei Tarkovsky.

Ukrainian film by Anna Buryachkova ‘Forever Forever’ will also be shown in Venice. We wrote more about it in our article.

The screen adaptation of Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky’s novel, filmed in 1964, became a key film in Sergei Parajanov’s work and gave a start to Ukrainian ‘poetic’ cinema in the mid-60s.

The plot centers on two Hutsul families and their children, Ivan and Marichka, who fall in love with each other. As an adult, Ivan is forced to go to work, and Marichka promises to wait for him. Subsequently, the girl dies, and Ivan finds no peace without his beloved. The protagonist marries the beautiful Palagna, but Marichka’s spirit does not leave him.

In June 2021, the film was included in the rating of the top 100 films of Ukrainian cinema according to Dovzhenko Centre.

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