The White Ship

An Old World of myth and animism lingers above the subdivisions of the New Soviet Way in this intriguing Kirghiz combination of Paradjanovian ethnographic fantasy and slightly embittered social realism. On the shores of a glittering Lake Issyk Kul, a new Soviet utopian city is being built, but in the surrounding forests a young boy still lives under the spell of the earth and a centuries-old paganism. His grandfather teaches him the legends of his ancestors, of deer gods, living forests, and the harmonies of the natural world, but such sunlit pastorals are soon threatened by his drunken ox of an uncle, whose interests are of a more human kind, including cutting the forest's trees for profit. This film's lyrical style is familiar as it lingers in the dusks and dawns of lakeside forests and streams, extraordinary as it embraces this (super)natural beauty in an about-to-be-urbanized, overly rationalized world.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.