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Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors

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This romantic drama directed by Sergei Paradjanov is considered a stylistic masterpiece and a milestone in Ukrainian cinema. Bordering on the abstract, the feature contains a poetic style of dazzling innovation and fantasy images that resembles a violent fairy tale. Two Carpathian families have been involved in a long-standing feud caused by the death of a man during a fight. Ivan Paliychuk (Ivan Mikolaychuk) falls in love with the beautiful Marichka Gutenyuk (Larisa Kadochnikova), the daughter of his family's enemy. When Ivan's father dies from the fatal blow of an axe to the head, two red horse silhouettes appear on the screen as blood covers his eyes. The feature is noteworthy for steering away from the heavy-handed party control over filmmaking that accompanied most films from the Soviet Union. Such disregard for the official esthetic eventually brought trouble for the gifted director. Beginning in 1973, he was imprisoned for five years. Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide