Director: Alexander Dovzhenko
Year Released: 1928
There's rumored to be treasure buried in the Zvenigora Mountain and kind Grandfather (Nikolai Nademsky) - who has two grandsons Timoshka (Semyon Svashenko) and Pavlo (Aleksandr Podorozhny) - protects the land; later, he talks about how the hidden artifacts supposedly got there, going way back in time and telling the tale of Princess Oksana (Polina Sklyar-Otava) who betrayed her own people by falling in love with a chieftain. As the first part of Dovzhenko's Ukraine Trilogy - the others being 1929's Arsenal and 1930's Earth - it operates on dream logic and I'm not sure I get all of the references or if they're supposed to translate to Westerners without sufficient background in the folklore (Canadian auteur Guy Maddin said it's "mind-bogglingly eccentric," which is a polite way of saying "incoherent"), but all I gather is that (a.) industrial equipment and scientific progress = good and (b.) the Parisian upper class and material things = bad. The original script - referred to as a "cinematographic poem" - was written by Ukrainian poet Maik Yohansen and Yuriy Tyutyunnyk, a former soldier in the Imperial Russian Army ... sadly, both men were later executed by Soviet officials. Lord, what a humorless group of people....