Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors — Sergei Parajanov‘s Ukrainian masterpiece – was adapted in 1964 by Ivan Chendei and Sergei Paradjanov from Mikhaylo Kotsyubinsky’s novel Tini zabutykh predkiv (1912) to celebrate the centennial of the author’s birth (1864 – 1913).
Shadows Of Our Forgotten Ancestors was directed by Sergei Parajanov, lensed by Yuri Ilyenko and stars Ivan Mikolajchuk (Ivan) and Larisa Kadochnikova (Marichka) — two childhood friends who fall in love despite the hostilities between their families. In an accident Marichka drows. Ivan marries Palagna (played by Tatyana Bestayeva) but he can’t get over Marichka’s death who constantly appears to him.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors also stars Spartak Bagashvili (Yurko) who later played Sayat Nova’s father in Sergei Paradjanov’s Armenian masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates (1968). Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors won the Grand Prix at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival in 1965 and countless awards on the festival circuit around the world. It also inspired the great scientist and Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan’s book Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. In the introduction, Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan wrote: “…the haunting 1964 film by Sergei Parajanov gave us our title.”
I once contacted the British Film Academy (BAFTA) to confirm many published statements (including Ephrahim Katz’s Film Encyclopedia) that Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors was a winner of the British Academy Award. They told me the film had never won or been nominated. I wonder who started the rumor.