In Focus: The Vanquishing Of The Witch Baba Yaga

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Our third season of In Focus screenings opens with 'The Vanquishing Of The Witch Baba Yaga' the latest film by Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo).

Following fairy-tales and personal memories like a trail of breadcrumbs, THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA descends into Easter Europe's haunted woodlands to uncover the secrets and bloody histories that shape our understanding of man's place in nature.

Within a dense forest there lingers a sense of sinister foreboding, remnants of a nearly forgotten story, where the fairy-tales of childhood persist within the subconscious. For generations of Slavic peoples, this fear manifested itself in the form of the mythical witch Baba Yaga - to roam too near her hut perched on chicken legs was to risk being roasted for her dinner.

In spite of this culturally ingrained dream, the turbulence of war, famine, and destruction that stains the pages of Eastern European history led to the witch's figurative vanquishing. Refugees fled to her woods for shelter, nourishment and sanctuary, and in so doing reshaped an entire culture's perception of nature.

Intertwining fairy-tales with an anthropological exploration of modern day, post-conflict Eastern Europe. THE VANQUISHING is about more than a single moment in history. It is about the accumulation of history, the accumulation of repetitive action, the retelling of stories retold, the retention of belief, and the unconscious osmosis of ideas. It is a study of collective memory and the sociology of fear, imagination and survival.

"Poetic, mesmerizing" - Ronnie Scheib, Variety

"original and unforgettableā€¦ an altogether new kind of art" - Jordan Cronk, Fandor

"something to wish that more films dared to strive for" - Danny King, Village Voice

Find out more here:

Director: Jessica Oreck

USA 2014

Run time: 73 mins

Russian & Polish with English subtitles

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