I have a deep love for folklore and fairytale movies. I feel like movies with a basis in folklore and fairytale often have a deep love of story and for the culture where the story first originated. For example, I follow the blog “Fairy Tales Live” on Tumblr, which is an account run by a Czech woman and is dedicated to all things fairytales. The wonderful thing about her blog is that she regularly posts about unknown films from different countries spanning throughout the last century. I highly recommend reviewing her blog because her content is fantastic and always makes me excited to dive into a fantasy movie rabbit hole.
Although I’ve seen plenty of evidence that other countries can tell beautiful stories drawn from their cultural background, I’ve also noticed that animation has been somewhat lacking. If you look up animated films made outside of the US, the first films you’ll see are probably made in Japan or the UK. As much as I love animated films like “Your Name” and anything that has come out of Cartoon Saloon, I hope to see the field expand further. This is not to say that animation is non-existent outside the countries I’ve just mentioned.
For example, I’ve seen several lovely animated films come from French studios, though the 2014 film “Mune: Guardian of the Moon” has a special place in my heart. It’s a beautiful movie set on a wondrous imaginary planet governed by the movements of the sun and the moon. For those terrified at the thought of watching a movie with subtitles, don’t worry. There’s an English dub, and it is good, though I promise subtitles aren’t that scary.
Thus, believe me when I say that I was extremely excited when I first heard about the film “Mavka: The Spirit of the Forest.” “Mavka” is a Ukrainian film about a forest guardian who falls in love with a human. It is based on the 1911 play “The Forest Song” by Lesya Ukrainka, a famous Ukrainian writer. From the research I have done so far, I’m not sure how much this Mavka will have in common with the spirits from Ukrainian folklore, but the trailer does mention “tickling to death,” so I think we’re in for a good time.
There’s another reason I wanted to watch this movie. As the terrifying war in Ukraine continues, many of us have had to struggle with feeling powerless. While it often feels like there isn’t much we can do, I’m glad I can at least use what little platform I have to promote a Ukrainian film. Especially one that celebrates its culture. The movie’s website also discusses the film’s creators’ feel about making this movie during such a tumultuous time in their country’s history, and you may find that worth a read.
“Mavka: The Forest Song” is scheduled to premiere in Ukraine by the end of December, but as I live in the US and speak only English, I’ll just have to be patient. If anyone reading this gets a chance to see it before me, maybe throw me a bone and tell me what you think of it!
2 thoughts on ““Mavka: The Forest Song” Is My Most Anticipated Movie of 2022”
99.99% of the time captions are better than dubbing. I feel like a lot is lost in translation when a movie is dubbed in English. You miss the real emotions and nuances among the actors and actresses.
Girl, you are absolutely right. I think only in rare circumstances – like when a studio genuinely cares about creating a good English version – does it actually work out. But I remember watching “Home for Christmas” first with dubbing, and it was trash, and then I watched it with subtitles, and it was incredible.