Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv) Reviews

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October 16, 2015
I had no expectations going into SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS, mostly because I knew very little about it beforehand. What I can say now is that it was more interesting from an artistic point of view than the actual story it tells. The basic plot is about a boy, Ivanko, who falls in love with a girl, Marichko. However, fate conspires to keep them apart and a fateful turn of events sets Ivanko down a course that changes his life forever. The elements I liked about the film, and what makes it stand out, are the cinematography, use of color, costumes, and the occasionally poetic image. The camera-work was rather improvisatory and free-moving with lots of high-angle shots, often pointed at the sky. There was also a conscious choice in one sequence to film in black-and-white for narrative reasons, to visually depict the protagonist's emotional state. As for imagery, there were a few sequences which stood out. One early scene showed blood dripping over the lens as a way to show someone dying, transitioning respectively into red horses and some kind of red plant. There was also creative use of double exposure in a scene where the characters are overlaid onto religious iconography. All of this was engaging and unique in a way that the story wasn't. I have a feeling that more familiarity with Ukrainian culture and folklore would have made the story a little more accessible, but I don't really think that the story was entirely the point. In fact, the acting in the film really isn't that good, and the film often felt like a filmed stage play where the intended audience is already familiar with the character archetypes and tropes. It also doesn't help that the film is episodic, with awkward and occasionally jarring scene transitions. Overall, this film's value (to me, at least) lies in its images and music. I don't really see the average film-watcher taking the time to see this, but this could potentially be worth it for the more adventurous person.
½ March 2, 2015
Parajanov first film post imposed social realism is a little treat and a beautiful exploration of cinema by a master director who became a game changer with this tale of a contradicted love doomed from the start but beautifully shot and endlessly compelling. The film is a feast of colors, traditional costumes and depiction of the rural Carpathian world. This sort of Romeo &Juliet story is wonderfully shot and some of the sequences are absolutely breathtaking. This film is a departure from the classical narrative linear form although it is fairly easy to understand and develops chronologically. Some people may be disturbed or annoyed by some of the visual and narrative style but overall it's a film that deserves to be seen as an experience for the senses. Great film.
October 13, 2014
Multiple views are required for this picture.
½ October 12, 2014
Luminous, breath-taking visuals incomparable to almost anything else in cinema.
½ May 18, 2013
People should look at this movie, I mean really look at it , because there isn't a shot in this Russian folk tale that isn't bursting with life, hallucinatory color, & imagination
January 7, 2013
Unique and memorable.
½ August 26, 2009
A cold film? Why, yes, but easily forgivable when you experience what a stylistic tour-de-force Sergei Parajanov has woven.
December 10, 2011
Recommended by Eric, magnolia11883.
½ July 27, 2011
Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov always fought for his armernian heritage against the Soviet-Russia's cultural repression. But he also fought for other dying culture's in other soviet regions. Parajanov's Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors takes place in the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine, we follow the life of the Hutsuls. This picture is the story about the young man named Ivan who falls in love with Marichka, the daughter of the man who killed his father. We can see that they are ment to be together, but a twist of fate happens when Marichka falls from a cliff into the water and dies. After a hard black and white winter, Ivan decides that the life must go on, and goes ahead and marrying the first women that he shows some tiny interest for, named Palagna. But his love for Marichka remains strong, that he forget to pay atention to his present wife. And then Palagna falls in love with an evil sorcerer, which doesn't bring any good for anyone.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a beautiful looking film, beautiful cinematography, alot of beautiful colors and landspaces. The story itself isn't that original. I loved the first part of the film where we see two people who are ment to be together. The second part of the film is kind of slow and not so colorful. But I still recommend it, for it's beutiful use of color and culture. Thumbs up.
½ June 18, 2010
Weird, russian, read the description, you'll have the plot mostly figured out, except for the part where Ivan marries some other, less attractive woman, then some weird sorcery happens.
December 23, 2008
Recommended by Eric, magnolia11883.
December 6, 2008
A gem of cinematic creativity and heart-wrenching romantic color. Movement in the midst of the reality of life's pain and the tragedy of love destroyed by fate.

An amazing work.
September 23, 2008
PAN AND SCAN. Su genuino sentido de lo épico y la capacidad para encontrar belleza en el folclor y lo costumbrista dan vida a esta película, que contiene tantos elementos burdos como sublimes, tediosos como fascinantes. Otro mérito es su habilidad para ser soviética sin ser propagandista. / Its genuine sense of epic and its capacity to find beauty in folklore and everyday customs give life to this film, which includes elements both coarse and sublime, tedious and fascinating. Another merit is its ability to be soviet but not propagandistic.
August 12, 2008
an exhibition of russian culture and its old way of life in a Shakespearian-esque tale carried by a memorable visual style. its a shame this director hasn't gotten more recognition. looking forward to seeing more of his work.
October 13, 2007
Basically a Carpathian Romeo & Juliet in which Romeo lives on after his lover's death, mixed with sorcery and folklore. The film captures some of the most stunning images I've seen in its own incredibly raw and dizzying ways. The camerawork is so dazzling and outlandish that it's as if Parajanov taught the camera how to fly. The beautiful landscapes of the Carpathian mountains are used to full effect. Some sections of the film can even be described as avant garde. The film portrays the colorful Hutsul culture with its observations on Carpathian everyday life, cultural rituals, and its abundant use of folk music.
½ October 21, 2007
This movie on Eastern Europe got me interested in finding my roots and visiting Baba and Zedo's villages!
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