Tag Archive: Ukrainian Poetic Cinema


Illienko’s poetic cinema

The following is an article I originally wrote in 1989, or maybe 1988, after seeing three films by Ukrainian poetic cinema master Yuri Illienko (a.k.a.  Iurii/Yurij/Jurij Ilyenko/Ilienko/Illyenko/Il’yenko). Two of the films — A Well for the Thirsty and Eve of Kupalo Night, or St. John’s Eve — had languished unseen under Soviet censorship for some twenty years. They are screening this coming week at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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These are some of my favorite films of all time. “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” was groundbreaking and the 3 Illienko films rarely get shown anywhere. (“Eve of Ivan Kupalo” is one of the wildest rides on celluloid.)

See them on the big screen — at the Lincoln Center this coming week — if you’re in the New York City area.

James Steffen has a useful write-up on the series. And see my obit for Illienko here, with a couple of clips. I promised there that I would try to make available an old article in which I analyze three of Illienko’s films — all of which are showing at the Lincoln Center. I will do that shortly.