Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Sergej Paradzanov / SUHH, 1964 / 97 min.
Folk tales from the Caucasus revived thanks to Paradzjanov’s unique cinematic style in this romantic tragedy akin to Romeo and Juliet. The film’s design does away with all (western) film conventions.
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Russia, 2021: in the wake of Putin’s latest election victory, reforms seem further away than ever. How different things were in the late 1950s, when Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s new leader following the death of Stalin, gave an impulse for change. This period, which came to be known as the ‘thaw’, gave rise to classics such as Ballad of a Soldier (1959, Grigorii Chukhrai) and The Cranes Are Flying (1957, Michail Kalatozov); a new generation of filmmakers (Tarkovsky, Shepitko) also stepped into the spotlight.