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Zvenyhora

The Enchanted Place

1927, VUFKU (Odesa), 7 parts / 1988 m., 67'

Director:
 Oleksandr Dovzhenko
Scriptwriter:
 Mike Johansen, Yuriy Tyutyunnyk, Oleksandr Dovzhenko 
Cameraman:
 Borys Zavelev
Scenery:
 Vasyl Krychevskyy
Cast:
 Mykola Nademskyi (a symbolic old man; the second role – a Tsar General), Semen Svashenko (Tymish, his grandson, a Red Army soldier, then an engineer), Les Podorozhnii (Pavlo, the second grandson, a Petliurite, then an emigrant), M.Charov (Pavlo’s assistant abroad),  Heorhii Astafiev (a Scythian leader), Y. Seliuk (an ataman of the Haydamakas), Leonid Barbe (a Catholic monk), M.Parshyna (Tymish’s wife), O.Symonov (a stout officer on horseback), Dovbysh (a student on the train), Yu.Mykhalov (an adjutant), Polina Skliar-Otava (Oksana, a peasant; the second role – Roksana), Volodymyr Uralskyi (a peasant)

Through centuries, a grey-haired old man guards bloodstained Scythian treasures of Zvenyhora. Before his eyes, as if in a dream, one historical period follows another – from the arrival of the Varangians and the Haidamak movement through to World War I and the October Revolution. A “gold rush” creates fantastic visions in the heads of treasure hunters and possesses the old man’s elder grandson Pavlo.

 (His younger grandson Tymish trades his grandfather’s archaic world of nature to “rabfak” (remedial school for workers) and industrialisation. The brothers meet on the enchanted mountain for a final battle.)

The magic tricks of early silent cinema, the gloomy mysticism of the German expressionist films of the 1920s, Chaplin-like irony, avant-garde montage are all combined by Dovzhenko in his lyric-epic film.

The first film of Dovzhenko’s silent trilogy which sealed his reputation as a leading Ukrainian film director sparked a heated debate about the national cinema.

The film was released on 13.04.1928 in Kyiv, and on 08.05.1928 in Moscow.