Babay / Бабай

Babay (Бабай) is a 2014 Ukrainian children’s animated film. It was made by Ukraine’s major animation studio, Ukranimafilm (Укранімафільм). In Slavic folklore, Babay is a sort of evil spirit in the shape of an old man. Parents apparently invoke him to scare their children when they aren’t listening. The film’s working title was “Who’s afraid […]

Lejeune (Lviv Tales) / Лежень (Львівські казки)

Lejeune (Лежень) is a Ukrainian animated short film released in 2013. It is based on a fairy tale by beloved Ukrainian and Soviet writer Yuriy Vynnychuk (Юрій Винничук), and is part of his Lviv Tales (Львівські казки) collection. Vynnychuk was a Soviet/Ukrainian writer who, unusually for the time, wrote only in Ukrainian. His works include poetry collections […]

OrAngeLove / Оранжлав

OrAngeLove (Оранжлав; the stylized capitalization is a feature of the English-language title) is a Ukrainian 2009 drama about love, AIDS, and the 2005 Orange Revolution. The film takes place vaguely against the background of the Orange Revolution, but worlds apart from it. Two people, Katya and Roman, after falling in love on a trolleybus, have locked […]

Orange Sky / Помаранчеве небо

Orange Sky (Помаранчеве небо) is a 2006 Ukrainian film that turns the 2005 Orange Revolution into a love story. The film’s tag line, “Revolution is love” (“Революція—це кохання”), is a pretty neat expression of the film’s content. The film tells the story of Mark Zaduhka (Марк Задуха), one of Ukraine’s so-called “golden youth.” He’s from […]

The Undefeated / Нескорений

The Undefeated (Нескорений) is a 2000 Ukrainian drama about Roman Shukhevich (alias Taras Chuprynka), the leader of a Ukrainian insurgent army during and after World War II. The real-life Shukhevich grew up in Lwów, which at the time was part of Poland, though he and his family were ethnically Ukrainian. He joined the Ukrainian Military Organization […]

Fuzhou / Фучжоу

Fuzhou, or Waiting for a Cargo on the Fuzhou Run by the Pagoda (Фучжоу; Очікуючи вантаж на рейді Фучжоу біля пагоди), is a 1993 Ukrainian classic drama/love story. The film takes place in several locations across the world—Ukrainian villages, the Florida coast, the Bermuda triangle—united by the motif of the wind. The main characters, the couple Orest and […]

Unforgotten Shadows / Тіні незабутих предків

Unforgotten Shadows (Тіні незабутих предків; literally translates as “Shadows of Unforgotten Ancestors”) is a 2013 Ukrainian mystical thriller. The film starts out in the early 1800s, in the Carpathian Mountains, near Transylvania. We see the legend of the molfar (), a group of nine magicians who are fighting against the evil spirits that run wild in the […]

Winter on Fire / Зима у вогні

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom (Зима у вогні: Боротьба України за свободу) is a 2015 documentary film about Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests. Told in English, Ukrainian, and Russian and composed of real footage from the protests, it is an on-the-ground, heartrending, and occasionally graphic look at Ukraine’s recent history. The film travels through the […]

The Guide / Поводир

The Guide (known in Ukrainian as Поводир, або Квіти мають очі, or “The Guide, or Flowers Have Eyes”) is a 2014 Ukrainian drama directed by Oles Sanin (Олесь Санін), one of Ukraine’s best-loved homegrown filmmakers. He is also known for 2003’s Mamay. The film is based on true events—that of the repression of the kobzars (кобзар, blind bards) […]

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