ART/4/LIFE: #8 – Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

Sergei Parajanov made art his way. He balked at socialist realism, the Soviet Union’s sanctioned art form, and lived a flamboyant lifestyle that had him in and out of labor camps for 20 years. I first saw Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors in college. The Russian film class I was taking at the time introduced me to great films by masters like Andrei Tarkovsky, a longtime friend a Parajanov, but this delightfully surreal folk tale never let me go. Shadows is set in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains and focuses on the culture of the Hutsul people. It’s more sketch than ethnography, more dream, than film.

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