Vadym Skurativsky

Andrei Tarkovsky and Ukraine
(summary by Vladimir Baranov/Jan Bielawski)

Tarkovsky 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 a "Ukrainophobe". 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 — Hryhory 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.  end block

Full text in Ukrainian
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