Film Library
Zvenyhora, 1927.

Original title: Zvenyhora
Copyright: VUFKU, Odesa, 1927; the 1973 edition is Mosfilm Studio, 1973, directed by Yulia Solntseva, music by V. Ovchinnikov (sound-track release).
Format: feature, narrative
Carrier: DVD
Color: black-and-white / color
Length: the 1927 VUFKU edition is 68'; the 1973 Mosfilm edition is 92', 10 p., 2657 m
Original language: silent
English subtitles: yes

Film crew
Director: Oleksander Dovzhenko.
Script writer: Maik Yohansen and Yurtyk (Yurko Tiutiunnyk)
Cinematographer: Borys Zavelev
Artistic designer: V.H. Krychevsky
Make-up: Shcherbyna
Production assistants: L. Bodyk, M. Zubov, Cherniaev


Film cast
Mykola Nademsky as the grandfather and the general
Semen Svashenko as Tymishko
Les Podorozhny as Pavlo
P. Otava as Oksana and Roksolana
Also M. Charov, Georgy Astfyev, I. Seliuk, Leonid Barbe, M. Parshina, O. Simonov

There is a mysterious place in the midst of the Ukrainian steppes, the Zvenyhora, or the Ringing Mountain. According to folk legends it harbors invaluable treasures of the Scythians. The entire chain of historic events that left their trace on the face of Ukraine – the Varangians, the nomad invaders, the struggle against the Polish gentry, the Haidamaka uprising, the First World War and the Bolshevik Revolution – are connected by one image of a Ukrainian old man, ageless, ingenuous, enterprising, cunning and indestructible – Dovzhenko’s personification of Ukrainian identity itself. The old man’s entire life is devoted to hunting for the illusive hidden treasures, which, as the film unfolds increasingly appear as a metaphor of Ukraine’s national sole and its – yet unlocked - spiritual potential. In the process, the old man is torn between his grandson Pavlo, epitome of the Ukrainian nationalist cause, and Tymishko, forward-looking, proletariat-oriented Bolshevik. The old man, instigated by Pavlo attempts to derail the Bolshevik train of progress. He is captured by Tymish’s comrades-in-arms, forgiven and taken on board the train speeding away towards the bright new day. 

Ukrainian Film Club of Columbia University© 2015. For more information please contact Yuri Shevchuk