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Made in the Dovzhenko Film Studios in Ukraine, „Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” was the first highly original masterpiece by Sergei Parajanov, a filmmaker of Armenian descent born and raised in Georgia. The film quickly became an international critical success, earning numerous awards on the global film festival circuit.

Saturated with dream-like mysticism, pagan symbolism and religious iconography, this tragic life and love story defies the boundaries of life and death. Parajanov stuns the audience with extravagant camerawork, expressive colour dramaturgy and intense soundtrack, boldly challenging the conventions of cinematic storytelling, as well as the tenets of socialist realism.

In his „Great Homeland”, Parajanov faced political persecution due to his stubbornly eccentric artistic vision, anti-Soviet statements and subversive proclivities. He was arrested and sent to a hard labour camp, despite an international petition campaign on his behalf involving a number of highly acclaimed creative figures, including Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard and Federico Fellini.

The screening presents a 2K DCP derived from a 4K digitisation of the original 35mm film negatives, which are being kept at the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre in Kyiv, Ukraine. The film was restored on behalf of the Ukrainian State Film Agency in 2015 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of its premiere.