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Celluloid Dreams: Films Shot on Film | Feature
D Jessica Oreck | Hungary,Poland,Romania,Russia,Ukraine,USA, 2013
L Polish
Tags: 16 mm, Documentary, Environment, Essay, Experimental, Head Trip, Meta

"As uniquely original and unforgettable as its title would imply … an altogether new kind of art." – Fandor

In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a forest-dwelling witch often identified with the elements: frequently terrifying but equally revered, she is part cannibalistic crone / part gatekeeper against human encroachment upon the environment. With this unparalleled cinematic essay, Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, MIFF 2010) fuses the fairytale with history to uncover what Film-Forward calls "the very source of storytelling".

A visually ravishing combination of hand-drawn animation, first-person narrative and 16mm documentary footage (beautifully shot by Sean Price Williams, who also shot Listen Up Philip, playing in this year's festival), the film uses the specifics of war-torn Eastern Europe and its cultural mythology to explore the universal issue of humanity's fearful detachment from, and exploitation of, nature: our own and that of the world around us. In doing so, it offers an audacious allegory for the conflict between tradition and progress that is best understood by experiencing it on the big screen.

"Amazing. The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga is a slow, profound, utterly mesmerizing piece of cinema." – Next Projection

D/S Jessica Oreck P Jessica Oreck, Dan Cogan L Polish w/English subtitles TD HD Cam/2013

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