Babel XX / Vavylon XX




Ukrainian SSR


Oleksandr Dovzhenko Film Studio


95 min


Ivan Mykolaichuk


Vasyl Zemliak, Ivan Mykolaichuk


Yurii Harmash


Liubov Polishchuk, Ivan Mykolaichuk, Les Serdiuk, Yaroslav Havryliuk, Taisiia Lytvynenko, Boryslav Brondukov, Liudmyla Chynsheva, Anatolii Khostikoiev, Ivan Havryliuk, Vitalii Rozstalnyi, Kostiantyn Stepankov, Olha Mateshko, Volodymyr Shakalo, Fedir Stryhun, Volodymyr Volkov, Valentyn Hrudynin, Borys Ivchenko

The village “philosopher” Fabian is friends with a goat and observes the funny and at the same time tragic life of the village of Babylon. At the end of the 1920s, Soviet power already reigns in Babylon, but changes in the traditional way of life are taking place far too slowly. In beauty Malva, a sick husband dies, leaving his wife at a crossroads, and the sailor Sinytsia starts building the first communist cell in the village. Everyone realizes that the old, patriarchal, and the new, collective farm ways of life will finally collide, and the small domestic Babylonian tragedies will turn into one, a huge one.

Ivan Mykolaichuk is a real multi-instrumentalist against the background of the latest classics of Ukrainian cinema: screenwriter, director, performer of the main roles in both of his directorial works, he even independently selected folk tunes for the music track, and on the set, if we believe the testimonies, he almost fixed decor with his own hands. However, his cinema is surprisingly polyphonic: folk songs in different languages, colorful heroines and heroes in a complex, confusing ecosystem of social life, question marks between solid answers.

In the image of Fabian Mykolaichuk observes the events from a certain distance, giving the opportunity to open up to colleagues in characteristic roles played by Taisiia Lytvynenko, Lesya Serdiuk, Boryslav Brondukov. The best Ukrainian role here was played by the future star of Russian cinema Liubov Polishchuk, whom the director’s assistant happened to see in a Moscow variety show.