The White Bird Marked with Black

The White Bird Marked with Black

The White Bird Marked with Black (, ) is a 1971 Soviet period drama film directed by Yuri Ilyenko. It was entered into the 7th Moscow International Film Festival and won the Golden Prize.


The plot takes place between 1937 and 1947, in a little, traditional Hutsul village in Northern Bukovina. The Zvonars are a poor family of musicians, who eke out a living by performing in the local celebrations. Both older brothers, Petro and Orest, are in love with Dana, the priest's beautiful daughter. Their younger brother, Heorhii, is a dreamlike adolescent who is attracted to the village's witch, Vivdya. In 1940, the Romanian authorities cede the territory to the Soviets. Dana falls for a Red Army officer named Ostap and decides to marry him. On the day of their wedding, the Germans and Romanians invade. Ostap has to return to his unit, and Petro leaves the band to join the Red Army. Orest seduces Dana and takes her to the mountains, where he joins the Ukrainian nationalists and subsequently, the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. After three years of brutal Romanian occupation, Ostap and Petro return as the Soviets retake the area. They attempt to introduce progress, bringing the villagers a modern tractor. Dana abandons Orest and returns to the village. He ties Ostap to the tractor and sets it aflame; Petro attempts to save him, but both die. When he visits a wedding to dance with Dana, older Heorhii and the villagers finally decide to confront him. He commits suicide when he is cornered. Heorhii studies medicine and becomes a doctor under the new Soviet system.