Directed by Oleg Malamuzh, Oleksandra Ruban, children animation, 99 min, in Ukrainian with fr subtitles, 7+
Written by Yaroslav Voytseshek
Mavka, a green-haired forest spirit, has been chosen by the supreme spirits as the new forest guardian. But when she meets a human boy named Lucas, a musician on the hunt for a mysterious tree with the power to give life, she is faced with an impossible choice between love and her duty to the spirits. Can nature and humanity coexist in harmony amidst greed and destruction? Loosely based on the classic play The Forest Song by one of Ukraine’s most famous poets, Lesya Ukrainka, the film is set in a world of enchanting forests with magical creatures and spirits, showcasing Ukrainian folklore to a global audience, blending elements of familiar fairy tales with a unique cultural twist. Filled with rich, bright visuals, it is an ode to the beauty of nature and the importance of coexisting with it.
Released in more than 80 countries and produced by Ukraine-based Animagrad amid the ongoing Russian invasion, the filmmaking process for Mavka: The Forest Song was hindered by continuous armed bombardment. The final production stages took place under heavy attack and from bomb shelters, making the film a symbol for Ukrainian culture and its people’s resilience.