Hot Docs 2014: The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga

The_Vanquishing_Of_The_Witch_Baba_Yaga Passed from generation to generation, the Slavic folk tale of Baba Yaga tells the story of a pair of children, who find the witch living in a hut perched on chicken legs in a haunted forest.  The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga tells this story in an illustrated style, while interweaving it with a modern, anthropological portrait of present-day life in Eastern Europe.  The result is a study of collective, social memory and how it shapes our interactions with the world around us. Undoubtedly the most memorable aspect of The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga is the narration of the folklore itself, which is accompanied by a number of illustrations.  If the story was shown on its own, as a narrative short film, I probably would have liked it much better.  As for the actual documentary aspects of the film, I did not really understand what the director was going for, other than narration that talked about society and scenes that seemed to have a vague connection to the Baba Yaga folklore. As a whole, The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga is somewhat of an experimental and arty documentary.  Without being explicitly told what it is about, I would have absolutely no idea what the director was trying to say.  While the film does come together a bit by the end, I have to say that the film is not very high on my recommendation list. 6 | WATCHABLE Screenings:

  • Wed, April 30, 8:30 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Thurs, May 1, 1:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
  • Fri, May 2, 9:45 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).