Andrei Tarkovsky and Ukraine
lived in the atmosphere of endless provocations and intrigues against
him. Intrigues which eventually lead to the director's emigration
and contributed to his premature death.
Tarkovsky's biographers ignored these intrigues
which thoroughly "spoiled" his "Ukrainian"
reputation. Within one decade they transformed him into practically
Actually Tarkovsky and Ukraine is a subject that deserves a detailed
study. Tarkovsky considered Earth by Dovzhenko
his cinema "university". On the eve of each new work he
would rewatch that very film whose landscape scenes
he always found spellbinding. The director's grandfather
Alexander Tarkovsky was Ukrainian. Tarkovskys are probably descendants
of the Crimean-Tatar
migrants to old Lithuania and Poland. The poetry of the director's
father Arseny Tarkovsky preserves the pathos of Ukrainian steppe and
forest-steppe landscape. Knowledge and respect for Ukrainian language.
His adoration of the most significant, in his view,
poet of all times and peoples —
Skovoroda. This adoration was
shared also by the younger Tarkovsky. The Ukrainian landscape and
Skovoroda served as the real Ukrainian basis for the great director.
The main theme of Tarkovsky the artist are searches for the
Absolute. Owing to the obvious crisis of mass historical movements
Andrey Tarkovsky went away from populist and nationalist mythology in general
and searched for truth beyond the
scope of history. This is the route clearly outlined by the
very Hryhory Skovoroda who risked to name all of the world
history as "the sundry rubbish". As opposed to the great
Ukrainian thinker the Russian "director-mystic" does not
reject the matter but "sees it clearly". Thus Ukraine (its
"signs" and signals) serves as a concrete "earth"
material. The Ukrainian texture appears incessantly and in many manifestations
in Tarkovsky's films. From "accidental" to
wholly logical reflexes from Dovzhenko and Skovoroda.
(summary by Vladimir Baranov/Jan Bielawski)