Ukrainian Documentary: The Living Fire, 10-12-2015

November 26, 2015 • Cultural, Past Events • Views: 2009



10 December 2015, 18:15-19.47

Includes a pre-screening presentation.


RichMix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA


Please note: this screening is fully booked, but if you’d like to go on a waiting list, please email


About the film:

A four-year-long project documenting three generations of Ukrainian Carpathian shepherds in their struggle to keep the age-old tradition alive in the face of contemporary changes.

The film follows three different generations living in the Ukrainian Carpathians: Ivan is an 82-year-old retired shepherd who lives a lonely life, having recently buried his wife. At the same time, nine-year-old Ivanko is just beginning his life and studying at boarding school, while 39-year-old Vasyl is raising young lambs at his farm. But when spring comes all three men will head for the mountains following the shepherd’s calling that is becoming ever more difficult to sustain in the contemporary world.

“A lovely, poetic look at a disappearing way of life.” – 6/8 stars

The title – “Living Fire” – is the name that highland shepherds give to their central campfire—a protective fire whose flame must remain lit for the entire four-month herding season. The age-old ritual of lighting the “living fire” was maintained in the Hutsul region until the middle of the 20th century.

It is a film about pitiless daily labour that knows no weekends, a harmonious world that was lost in the search for comfort, and the childhood that is left behind when one takes on the role of an adult…

Director: Ostap Kostyuk
Genre: Documentary
Country: Ukraine, 2014
Run Time: 77min

Language: Ukrainian (English subtitles)


This screening is part of the Ukrainian Cinema Days in London. See full programme here.

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