Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

  • Thursday, March 2, 2023 / 7:00 PM - 9:20 PM (PST)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: Sony 2K digital projection (97 minutes)
  • With Roman Koropeckyj (UCLA)
  • Director: Sergei Parajanov

Sergei Parajanov’s 1965 classic Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is an enduring testament to Ukrainian cultural identity and a landmark film in the emergence of Ukrainian poetic cinema. Set among the stunning Carpathian Mountains, the film centers on Ivan and Marichka, two star-crossed lovers who challenge centuries-old customs to maintain their forbidden relationship.

Parajanov (1924–1990), a Soviet-Armenian filmmaker who grew up in Georgia and studied his craft in Moscow, broke new ground when he arrived to work in Kyiv in the 1950s. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors marked an unprecedented break from Socialist Realism, making a powerful political statement of Ukrainian national revival and earning international accolades in the process. In light of the current Russo-Ukrainian War, the film remains acutely relevant today.

In this special event, Roman Koropeckyj (Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages & Cultures, UCLA) joined moderator Sasha Razor (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.


Roman Koropeckyj (UCLA)

Roman Koropeckyj is a Professor of Slavic Literatures in the Department of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Languages & Cultures at UCLA, where he has taught since 1992. He received his BA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and his PhD in Slavic Languages & Literatures from Harvard. Koropeckyj is the author of two prize-winning books on Poland’s national poet Adam Mickiewicz as well as articles on Polish, Ukrainian, and Little Russian literature. In addition, he is the editor-in-chief of the UC Undergraduate Journal of Slavic and East-Central European Studies.

Moderator Sasha Razor (UCSB)

Sasha Razor is a lecturer in the Film and Media Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara who specializes in Russophone and East-Central European cinemas. She earned her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA in 2020, with a dissertation focused on Soviet screenwriting in the 1920s and 1930s. Her research interests include avant-garde cinema and literature, Belarusian and Ukrainian culture, decolonial movements, diaspora studies, activism, visual arts, and women’s studies. Razor is also a curator, journalist, and co-founder of the Russophone Los Angeles Research Collective, which promotes the study of Russophone migration to Southern California.

This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.

CWC Global

Media are global by nature; they express culture just as much as they transcend borders. The CWC Global series is dedicated to showcasing media from around the world. This series features screenings and events that place UCSB in conversation with international media makers and global contexts across our deeply connected world.

CWC Classics

The CWC Classics program celebrates cinema’s rich history, bringing classic films back to the big screen for critical viewing and discussion. These events feature filmmakers, academics, and professionals who can contextualize the production and historical impact of the films. The series occasionally presents classic films in their original 16 or 35 mm formats. CWC Classics events celebrate the history and significance of cinema’s enduring legacy.