Greetings, Hal-83 :)
You’re correct. The Amazon site said Russian—the inaccuracy has finally been changed to Ukrainian. Several reviewers (me included) wrote reviews (on the DVD) stating that the info was incorrect. There were actually a number of other incorrect entries on the site—not just the language. If you go to Amazon.com and read the reviews and comments (there aren’t that many—seven [including mine] the last time I looked), you’ll get a better perspective.
Below is my review as it appears on Amazon.com as of April 30, 2008:
Good news/bad news. The good news is that Amazon.com is selling a truly exceptional DVD entitled "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors," which is based on a novel by Ukrainian author Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky (1864-1913).
Journey into the past and experience the world-renowned Ukrainian Hutsul folklore and folkways that encyclopedists, historians, and authors depict by way of words and the film gives credence to via imagery, moods, symbolism, and sounds. Avenues you'll travel will branch off, giving you exposure to artistic embroideries, folk music, folk songs, ornate costumes, religious ceremonies, and traditional rituals (such as a traditional Hutsul wedding and a traditional Hutsul burial), along the way.
Folklife comes alive as you float down a river in a unique wooden raft, partake in Christmas festivities, encounter a sorcerer, and lots more--all against a backdrop of the magnificent Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, where trees' shadows silhouette straight as they stretch for the stars and for the skies, where horses dress in tassels as they meander meadows and highlands, where Hutsuls converse across Carpathian Mountains via trembitas--and, where Ivan cannot forget his true love.
"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" is not your typical feel-good film; it's for the connoisseur of fine arts. If you want your senses stimulated, your imagination enlivened, and your knowledge of Hutsul culture expanded, then, this is the film for you!
The bad news is that inaccuracies exist. As accurately noted by both Dr. Luba and GR in their reviews, "Russian regional history" should be changed to read "Ukrainian regional history." Secondly, in the Update Product Info section, Ukrainian has finally been added as a language in the drop-down menu, but it isn't listed in alphabetical order (as are all of the other languages)--only added to the end of the list. Finally, under the Amazon.com Sales Rank section, Russian is shown following the phrase "by original language." Russian should be changed to Ukrainian. "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" was filmed in Ukrainian, not Russian.
"Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" is a must see/must own DVD--at the very least, it should appear worldwide on library shelves and in personal collections. This DVD definitely deserves 5-stars!
Let me elaborate a bit further: I emailed Amazon very many times. The end result is that:
1. Amazon finally changed the language from Russian to Ukrainian.
2. When I emailed Amazon that Ukrainian should have been added to the drop-down menu—Amazon responded by adding Ukrainian to the very bottom of the list. All other languages are in alphabetical order. Anyone scrolling to where they’d expect to find Ukrainian won’t find it and will probably assume that it’s not one of the languages since three other languages are above last-entry Ukrainian. To this day, Ukrainian is still not in alphabetic order, while the rest of the entries are.
In one of my numerous emails to Amazon, I mentioned the following: The film director, Sergei Parajanov, was a Soviet-Armenian. Ukraine, Armenia and Russia were all part of the Soviet Union till 1991. The Soviet Union was not Russia alone; Russia was part of the Soviet Union along with 14 other countries. Amazon.com should understand that all German Shepherds are dogs; but not all dogs are German Shepherds. And, although Russia was a country in the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Armenia and 12 other countries made up the Soviet Union—so, the Soviet Union was not just comprised of Russia!
I emailed Amazon.com that if it didn’t change the word Russian to Ukrainian, Amazon.com would continue to perpetuate the myth that all of the Soviet Union was Russia.
So, Hal-83, not only is the film in the Ukrainian language, the Hutsuls are Ukrainians living in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains, and the film is based on a novel by Ukrainian author Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky (1864-1913). Notwithstanding all of the above and my repeated emails, Amazon continues to have a Customer Discussions sections for the Russian community, but has not added a Ukrainian community nor an Armenian community to the Customer Discussions section of “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.” So, if confusion reigns, it’s not because people haven’t informed Amazon.
Some people say that hutsuls are more romanian than romanian . They are !
Not sure what you mean here Simona - more Romanian than the Romanians, or more Romanian than Ukrainian? Hutsuls are generally considered to be ethnic Ukrainians, their language is most closely related to Ukrainian (though with many words from Romanian) and the area they inhabit is mostly within present-day Ukraine.
I'd be interested to hear you elaborate on your thoughts.