Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Our next film will be Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965), directed by Sergei Parajanov.

With the tragic events currently taking place in Ukraine, we wanted to take a look at this important piece of Ukrainian/soviet era cinema, and highlight one of the region’s most well-regarded directors.

Sergei Parajanov was a fascinating figure who was censored and eventually imprisoned by the authorities for his art. Shadows, his most famous film, is an homage to Ukrainian traditions and an experimental departure from soviet realism.

The movie was lauded by the international film community for its boundary-pushing aesthetics and lively cinematography. It is also one of the few films of the period that uses the Ukrainian language, as well as traditional dress and folk music. The story is a fairly basic romance, but the tone is surreal and the imagery is lavish and compelling.

We will discuss the movie on March 8th at 7:00pm EDT on Slack. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is available for free on YouTube and on And don’t forget to check out our resources page for interesting reviews, essays and videos!

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