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Remote Film Screening of “Maksym Osa”

Apr 14, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Film poster for Maksym Osa featuring man with sword and wolf like creature

A Ukrainian film production that was interrupted by the Russian invasions in 2014 and again in 2022, Maksym Osa is a fantasy thriller set in the 1600s, yet deeply resonant with the present. Here, the contemporary tenacity of Ukrainians in defense of their independence, which has taken the world utterly by surprise, is placed in a larger historical context. In its focus on the Cossacks, a Ukrainian-created self-defense force, as multidimensional figures, Maksym Osa argues for the historical roots of Ukraine as a European and global nation.

In the misty sodden forests of late medieval Ukraine, a group of Cossacks has been murdered and the gold entrusted to them for safekeeping stolen. Maksym Osa (Vasil’ Kukharsky), a forelocked warrior both ferocious and conniving, as well as frequently drunk, searches for clues near the Polish border that connect local nobility, witchcraft, and lycanthropy. Based on Igor Baranko’s graphic novel, Makysm Osa (Myroslav Latyk, 2022) relies on and updates Ukrainian folk cinema, drawing inspiration from films such as The Eve of Ivan Kupalo (Yuri Ilyenko, 1968) and The Lost Letter (Borys Ivchenko, 1972). As in Ivchenko’s film, Maksym Osa begins and ends with the same folk song: “The fish danced with the crawfish/The carrot with the porridge/The seahorse with the pearl/And the Cossack with the girl.” With tonal shifts and a sense of the absurd, Osa showcases its take on Ukrainian lore alongside flashes of violence and dark humor. Like the many colorful and mysterious cinematic spectacles of Cossacks and magic that came before, Maksym Osa is, at heart, an adventure. But also like those films, salvation here doesn’t spring ex machina from deities, sorcery, or wealth. Instead, it’s found in the fierce spirit of everyday people who defend their right to tell their own stories in the face of oppression.

A Roundtable Introduction will feature a discussion with the Ukrainian filmmakers of the Maksym Osa project.

Register for the Thursday, April 14th screening here!

Register for the Monday, April 25th screening here!


Apr 14, 2022
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm