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still from A Spring for the Thirsty (Yuri Ilyenko, SU 1965)

Bron voor de dorstigen

Joeri Ilyenko / SUHH, 1965 / 70 min.

The visually overwhelming and strongly symbolical A Spring for the Thirsty paints the cycle of birth, life and death and is full of references to Ukraine folk culture.

poster A Spring for the Thirsty (Yuri Ilyenko, SU 1965)

Yuri Ilyenko, cameraman of Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964), debuted with a film that was at least as controversial as that of his mentor. The film centres on an old man living on his own on the edge of a desert. His family have moved elsewhere, leaving him behind with his visions and memories, which are evoked through powerful documentary imagery.

A Spring for the Thirsty is reminiscent of the poetic films by the Ukraine film pioneer Alexander Dovzhenko, who was also a major influence on the work of Paradzhanov and Tarkovsky. The film was made in the aftermath of the Thaw, but was never released to film theatres. It was one of the major discoveries when the film vaults of the Soviet Union were finally opened at the end of the 1980s.

The proceeds of ticket sales will go to the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre, the largest Ukrainian film archive.

This is part of



Joeri Ilyenko

Production year




Original title

Rodnik dlya zhazhdushchikh


70 min.







Part of

Kino Ukraïna

This month, Eye is screening ten films by filmmakers who were born or who work (or have worked) in Ukraine, a country that ever since the Maidan Revolution has been fighting for recognition of its unique history, language and culture.

Learn more
campaign image Kino Ukraïna, still from Zemlya (Earth) (Alexander Dovzhenko, SU 1930)
still from A Spring for the Thirsty (Yuri Ilyenko, SU 1965)
still from A Spring for the Thirsty (Yuri Ilyenko, SU 1965)
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