Front shot of a woman in 18th century Ukrainian ceremonial dress kneeling at an altar of candles, with men in traditional dress standing in the background.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965) Tim Zanios
Stories & Ideas

Wed 08 Jun 2022

Melbourne Cinematheque icon

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society

Notes for the 20 July – 3 August 2022 Melbourne Cinémathèque program.

2022 marks the centenary of Ukrainian feature filmmaking. This season assembles six masterworks of Ukrainian cinema, all canonised by the Dovzhenko Centre (the Ukrainian national film archive in Kyiv) and includes three landmark titles from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic era (1922–91) – all of which were at ideological odds with the official doctrines of their times – and three from the 21st century. Also included are remarkable “silent” films from both eras. Each night, this program pairs a production from the USSR era with a post-Maidan (2013–14) title. Essential works by Alexander Dovzhenko, Sergei Parajanov and Kira Muratova, produced respectively at All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration (VUFKU), Dovzhenko Film Studios and the Odesa Film Studio, precede a celebrated film from Ukraine’s remarkable present-day cohort of filmmakers, represented by Valentyn Vasyanovych, Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi and Roman Bondarchuk.

These latter-day films, as wildly varying in aesthetic approach and strategy as those of their Soviet-era forebears, all speak urgently to the harsh realities – and bizarre surreality – of life in contemporary Ukraine. 2022 also marks 100 years since the foundation of VUFKU, and a portion of proceeds from this season will be donated to a fundraiser for the Dovzhenko Centre, whose activities, inclusive of the restoration of VUFKU’s extraordinary but only partly-preserved output from 1922–30, are imperilled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Masterpieces of Ukrainian Cinema

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1965) – Wed 20 Jul, 7pm
Atlantis (2019) – Wed 20 Jul, 8.55pm
Earth (1930) – Wed 27 Jul, 7pm
The Tribe (2014) – Wed 27 Jul, 8.35pm
Brief Encounters (1967) – Wed 3 Aug, 7pm
Volcano (2018) – Wed 3 Aug, 8.50pm

Person laying on sand, with their face reflected in a puddle

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven. 

Learn more | View the 2022 program | See membership options