Mavka: The Forest Song

Mavka: The Forest Song

Ukraine | 2023 | 90 min. | Oleh Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban

In this animated fantasy from the Ukraine, mythical guardian Mavka must protect her forest home from an evil lumber magnate, even if it might mean ending her newfound love of young Lukash, a human musician who has touched her heart. Ages 7+, in English.

Based on a 1911 poetic play by Ukranian playwright Lesya Ukrainka, Mavka: The Forest Song celebrates ancient Slavic traditions in a time when these traditions are facing a catastrophic threat. Mavka is the Soul of the Forest and guardian of all animals and magical creatures that live within it. The forest sits on the edge of a quaint village whose inhabitants fear the magic and mystery of the forest. When a rich woman from the city returns to her home village offering a hefty sum of money to pillage the forest, no villager dares to fulfill her quest to plunder it, except for a young musician named Lukas who hopes to help his sick uncle. Ultimately, Mavka must choose between her love for Lukas and saving the forest and the creatures living in it before greed destroys it all. The backgrounds are so stunningly rendered that the magic and beauty of Ukraine's flora and fauna feel right at your fingertips. The care and love for Slavic culture is apparent at every level of the film, from costumes, folks songs, and the spirit of survival. In English, ages 7+

Megan Garbayo-López

  • Director: Oleh Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban
  • Principal Cast: Nataliya Sumskaya, Elena Kravets, Yuliya Sanina, Nataliya Denisenko, Nikki Thomas
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Year: 2023
  • Running Time: 90 min.
  • Producer: Anna Eliseyeva, Iryna Kostyuk, Egor Olesov, Sergey Sozanovsky
  • Screenplay: Yaroslav Voytseshek
  • Music: Maksym Berezhnyak, BakhaBrakha, Dario Vero
  • Filmography: Malamuzh: The Stolen Princess (2018); Ruban: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English
  • US Distributor: Shout! Factory