Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv) (1967) - Rotten Tomatoes

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv) (1967)



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Movie Info

Along with Tarkovsky and Dovzhenko, Sergei Paradjanov is one of the most important Soviet directors of last century. Paradjanov, who was periodically jailed and exiled because of his work, stunned world audiences in 1964 with his Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, popularly known as the Romeo and Juliet of the Carpathians. The film is set among the Hutsul people of the Western Ukraine, an isolated ethnic group who live in the upper reaches of the mountain range. Their lives take place within a harsh environment and an ornate cultural system little changed since the 18th century. The film opens with the deaths of Ivanko's brother, Olexa, crushed by a tree, and father, Pyotr Pavlichuk, killed outside of church by his rich neighbor Guteniuk. During the funeral procession for his father, Ivanko meets Guteniuk's daughter, Marichka, and the stage is set for the star-crossed lovers. Structured episodically, the film checks in with Ivanko and Marichka as they fall in love and age towards adulthood. Finally of an age to marry, Ivanko finds himself unable, having been reduced to poverty by his father's death. Forced to work as a hired hand, he must leave his village and his beloved Marichka. Tragedy ensues and the remainder of the film concerns Ivanko's private and subtle dissolution as a result of this tragedy. ~ Brian Whitener, Rovi

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Ivan Mikolaichuk
as Ivan Paliychuk
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Critic Reviews for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv)

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (8)

It's one of the most unusual films I've seen, a barrage of images, music and noises, shot with such an active camera we almost need seatbelts.

March 7, 2008
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Shadows was a leap in the dark like none other in Soviet film history, and a slap in the face of the officially sanctioned and artistically vacuous school of Socialist Realism.

Full Review… | February 21, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

In this overwhelmingly beautiful movie, a sad, short, brutalized life is elevated to ecstatic myth.

October 30, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

The athletic camerawork and the bizarre visual effects take their tone from the folk ballads that recur on the soundtrack, sometimes touching an authentically barbaric or tragic poetry.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There are hallucinatory sequences in Sergei Paradzhanov's 1964 film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors when this eruptively colorful movie feels more like a folkloric tapestry sprung to life than a film about flesh-and-blood people.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is one of those rare films that look totally fresh and uncorrupted -- as if the director hadn't pilfered a thing from other film makers but had simply discovered the camera, and how best to use it, by himself.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Tini zabutykh predkiv)


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

Gordon Briggs
Gordon Briggs


Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

the camera hurtles through the trees, following the simple life of ukranian villager ivan, who loses the love of his life to a tragic editing accident that has her falling off a cliff in one shot, and drowning in a waterfall in the next. the sound and production design, use of color, and dexterity of the camera work is amazing to watch - one scene looks as though there must have been a handheld camera that runs onto a crane, and then off again. other scenes appear to been shot on a giant turntable, spinning the sets around the actors. another sequence in which ivan is visited by a ghost is creepy and unsettling due to its innovative editing techniques. an inspiring work.

Joe LaRue
Joe LaRue

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