Begun by Shepitko and completed by Klimov after her death, Farewell is based on the acclaimed contemporary novel by Valentin Rasputin, Farewell to Matyora. “The film is set in Central Siberia, near Irkutsk; the title refers to an island's name with the extra connotation ‘Mother Earth' attached to the translation of the word. This island is about to be submerged due to the swelling of the river before a newly completed dam, and with it will go some 300 years of traditions: the church, the cemetery, the mystic ancient tree, the village itself with all its quaint cottages. The population is to be transferred to high-rise apartments on the mainland, but the elderly women on the island (a kind of Greek chorus) decide to resist. . . . The images are overpowering in beauty and visual impact. Farewell mourns the passing of the old with its revered traditions and questions the new with its unproven speculations.”-Ronald Holloway, International Film Guide

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