The Savage Hunt of King Stakh

Dikaya okhota korolya Stakha | Valeri Rubinchik | SU 1980 | 109 Min | 35mm

“What do you need our legends for? All that gloom created in the minds of savages.” Based on the 1964 novel by Belarusian writer Uladzimir Karatkievich and following on one of the most common tropes in both folk horror and Gothic fiction, here an ethnographer from Belarus comes to a remote region to collect old folk legends and a sour turn in the weather sees him holed up in an old castle. There, the sickly, nervous Countess—last of the line of a once-powerful feudal family—warns him that there are strange things afoot in the woods. A richly layered Soviet horror film evoking the folk motif of the Wild Hunt and dripping with Gothic anxiety, Valeri Rubinchik’s paranoid period piece swept up awards in Brussels and Montreal before becoming a thing of legend itself.

Valeri Rubinchik
Rubinchik, Valeri (* 1940, † 2011) was born in Minsk, Belarus. Trained as a director at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow and later teaching there, he became a director at the Belarusfilm studio in 1969 and worked at Mosfilm from 1990. His memorable 1980 movie The Savage Hunt of King Stakh won the Golden Raven at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival and the Jury Prize at Montréal World Film Festival.
Language OmeU
Cast Boris Plotnikov, Elena Dimitrova, Albert Filozov, Boris Khmelnitsky, Igor Klass
Writer Valeri Rubinchik (based on a story by Vladimir Korotkevich)
Editing Lyudmila Mikulo
Cinematography Tatyana Loginova