The Enchanted Desna

Free Admission


Boris Andreyev, Evgeniy Bondarenko, Vladimir Goncharov, Evgeniy Samyolov, Zinaida Kirienko,

After Oleksandr Dovzhenko’s death in 1956, Yuliya Solntseva adapted three of his personal scripts, culminating in The Enchanted Desna. “Dovzhenko grew up in a town situated on the banks of the Desna River. The movie is a quasi-autobiographical memory piece that brings together three periods—the modern day, the Second World War, and the time of the filmmaker’s prerevolutionary childhood in a farm village—with a boldly subjective freedom akin to that of such innovators as Alain Resnais. . . . Solntseva pairs [the protagonist Oleksandr’s] idyllic memories with pictorial rhapsody, filling the screen with a molten crimson sunrise, wavering light on a river’s surface which looks like animated Abstract Expressionism, mist drifting dreamily along the riverbanks, smoke billowing, and clouds swarming amid the twilit sky” (Richard Brody, New Yorker). For Jean-Luc Godard, it was the best film of 1965.

Please note: We are showing a digital scan of BAMPFA’s 35mm print.

  • Oleksandr Dovzhenko
  • Russian
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • Digital
  • 80 mins
Additional Info
  • Digital scan of BAMPFA’s 35mm print

Event Accessibility

If you have any questions about accessibility or require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us at or call us at (510) 642-1412 (during open hours) with as much advance notice as possible. More information on accessibility services.