A Well for the Thirsty / Krynytsia dlia sprahlykh




Ukrainian SSR


Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio


73 min


Yurii Illienko


Ivan Drach


Yurii Illienko, Volodymyr Davydov


Dmytro Miliutenko, Larysa Kadochnykova, Feodosiia Lytvynenko, Nina Alisova, Dzhemma Firsova

The film is a parable about a gray-haired old man, Levko, who is abandoned by his family. The old man begins to take care of the village while recalling his wife, daydreaming about seeing his sons, and preparing for his death. However, when the man’s family returns to the village, he rises from a coffin and greets them.

Well for the Thirsty marks the directorial debut of Yurii Ilienko, who directed it immediately after his involvement in Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors as the Director of Photography. Paradzhanov, after seeing the film at a limited premiere at the film studio, compared it to the works of Dovzhenko.

Despite such a positive review, the motion picture was still criticized for “ideological perversion” and was banned for 22 years. The Resolution of the State Committee of Cinematography of [Soviet] Ukraine stated that “the inexperience of the director Yurii Illienko led to the fact that ideological perversions were allowed in the film; therefore, the film could not be released, and expenses in the amount of 268,000 rubles were written off as a loss.”

Although the film was made in 1965, it saw the light of day only in 1987.

Well for the Thirsty was dedicated to Dmytro Miliutenko, the actor from the famed Kurbas Theatre, who played his final role in the film. Captured on “Nikron” film, this motion picture presents one of the most contrasting images in the history of Ukrainian cinema and remains captivating today with its metaphorical and poetic language.