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olourful 'optimistic tragedy' of a poor family in Ukraine, living in the Carpathian mountains near the Romanian border, during the Second World War. This epic, which won the grand prize at the Moscow Film Festival in 1971, chronicles a family's struggle for survival in an area that was claimed as part of Rumania, Poland and the Ukraine, all within a short span of time. The family is very poor, and has a great many children. When World War II comes, various family members choose different masters; some even choose to work for the Soviets. War, struggle, marriages, births, deaths--all these events punctuate the story of this large family. Belaya Ptitsa s Chernoi Otmetinoi, or Bily Ptakh Z Chornoyu Oznakoyu was filmed in the Ukrainian language and was directed by the famed Ukrainian cinematographer, Yuri Ilyenko. It is notable for the way its rich, poetic imagery splashes across the screen, and is considered to be an important part of Ukrainian film heritage.

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