Zvenigora

The first important film by the great Ukrainian director Alexander Dovzhenko, whose best-known work is the classic Earth (1930), Zvenigora is essentially an anthology of Ukrainian folk myths, centering on a grandfather figure who stands for the spirit of the Ukraine. The old man believes that there is a treasure hidden in the mountains of Zvenigora. In the end, the real treasure turns out to be not gold or silver-it is the people, their intelligence and ambition, their harnessing of the land's mineral wealth. The film is free flowing, impressionistic, and extremely symbolic (even for Dovzhenko), an incredibly rich and wonderful experience. For Dovzhenko, Zvenigora “has remained my most interesting picture for me. I made it in one breath-a hundred days. Unusually complicated in structure, eclectic in form, the film gave me, a self-taught production worker, the fortuitous opportunity of trying myself out in every genre. It was a catalog of all my creative abilities.” 

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