Yuletide Stories (Святочные рассказы, 1994) by Irina Kodyukova

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Yuletide Stories
Christmas Stories
Святочные рассказы
Svyatochnyye rasskazy (ru)
Những câu truyện Giáng Sinh (vi)

Year 1994
Director(s) Kodyukova Irina
Studio(s) Belarusfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Christmas/New Year
Literature (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Cutout
Length 00:09:55
Wordiness 9.15
Animator.ru profile Ru, En
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Svyatochnyye rasskazy.1994.en.1.25fps.1703800327.srt
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Two Christmas-themed stories: about the night of Christ's birth, and about a good deed that is remembered many decades later. Adapted from texts by Sasha Chyornyy and Archpriest Dimitriy Gavrilovich Bulgakovskiy.

The film is the first in a series of Christmas-themed films by Belarusfilm, which ran from 1994 to 2004 and were later collected on DVD. They include many short stories or poems related to an age-old custom in Europe, but to shape identity in newly independent Belarus. The 1990s are also often considered the golden era of Belarusian culture, when things were hopeful in a still relatively free society that had largely escaped the political chaos and economic misery that engulfed its neighbours Russia and Ukraine.

"A Christmas Story" is based on the poem by Sasha Chyornyy (first published shortly after he emigrated to France, in Dec 1920 - see a scan of the original page here). On the night Christ came to earth, the animals in the barn scrambled to see Him.

"The Blizzard" is based on a short story by Archpriest Dimitriy Gavrilovich Bulgakovskiy, which seems similar to the parable of the Good Samaritan. On Christmas Eve, seminarian Vasya went home and was saved by a merchant from death by cold. Many years later, when little Vasya became an old bishop, he accidentally met his benefactor again on a cold night. The full text of the story (Рождественская милостыня. Быль) can be read here (by looking through the photos of the book pages).




A film, which was made very simply, but touched me very much. Since 2007 when I entered my university, it has been a long time since I had a family meal. I often eat alone and rarely have friends to talk to. That's why I sympathize so much with the fate of the Holy Child and little Vasya.

Replies: >>2


>A film, which was made very simply, but touched me very much.
I feel that way about a lot of Belarusfilm productions of the mid-1990s (though not all of them are made as simply). It seems to have been a very... peaceful, introspective period in their animated cinema.
Others I like: Vladimir Petkevich's "There Lived a Tree (1996), Yelena Petkevich's "Forest Tales" (1997), Aleksandr Vereshchagin's "Happy Birthday (1996, unfortunately not on this site yet because I couldn't find it on Youtube, Vimeo or Dailymotion).

Also, I can't help but wonder if this film inspired Mihail Aldashin's better-known "The Nativity" (1996).

While making the English subtitles, I tried really hard to find a translation for the poem, but ultimately had to do it myself. Likewise for the second story, though that one was easier (but made a little harder because the text mostly isn't the same as its source material).

Not that many of Sasha Chorny's poems have been translated to English; a few others can be found here.



Recently I had the opportunity to talk with a brother from the Trappiste order, who honor the Mother Mary as their patron saint, so everyone takes the last name Marie. I learned from experience that the liturgists at the monastery themselves do not fully understand the issues of their own beliefs. Of course, we all say to each other that humans do not live by bread, but that does not mean we can completely live without eating.

When I was a child, there was a story by a Soviet writer that was reprinted many times in reference books of Vietnamese students. He said that, on a snowy day, an old beggar asked a boy for alms. But the boy said he had nothing, so the beggar told the boy that he had just given the old man a lot. I believe that very few persons understand this proposition, because they are blinded by the cycle of life, which is like in some of Christ's parables.


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