Chervona Ruta (film)

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For other uses, see Chervona Ruta (disambiguation).
Chervona Ruta
Directed by Roman Oleksiv
Produced by Roman Oleksiv
Written by Miroslav Skochilyas
Starring Sofia Rotaru
Vasyl Zinkevych
Music by Valeriy Hromtsev, Volodymyr Ivasyuk (also lyricist), Levko Dutkovsky, Eduard Kolmanovsky, Don Backy, Bohdan Yanivsky, Myroslav Skoryk
Distributed by Ukrtelefilm
Release date
  • 1 January 1971 (1971-01-01)
Running time
45 minutes
Country USSR
Ukrainian SSR
Language versions in Ukrainian

Chervona Ruta is a 1971 Soviet Ukrainian musical film written by Miroslav Skochilyas and directed by Roman Oleksiv, starring Sofia Rotaru and Vasyl Zinkevych alongside popular Soviet Ukrainian ensembles. One of the first modern Soviet musical films, and the first modern Ukrainian musical filmed in Bukovina and the Carpathian mountains in the Ukrainian SSR, Chervona Ruta features short dialogues combined with legendary pop-folk songs in the Ukrainian language and characteristic Western Ukraine dances in modern pop choreography. The film was released in both a Ukrainian and a Russian language version, though in both versions all but one of the songs are in Ukrainian.[1]

Translated from the Ukrainian: Червона рута — "Chervona Ruta" literally means "Red rue". However, the expression became a proper noun in Ukrainian due to popular use. The term derives from the old East Slavic legend, according to which a girl who finds a red colored rue (which are normally yellow) on Ivan Kupala Day, will be happy in love.


Oksana (played by Sofia Rotaru) is a young and beautiful Carpathian girl. On the "Donetsk-Verkhovyna" train she becomes acquainted with a young miner from Donetsk called Boris. The travellers fall in love, but are parted when they arrive at their destination. In the Carpathian mountains their paths diverge, but Boris (played by Vasyl Zinkevych, soloist of the instrumental band "Smerichka") discovers where she is staying. The couple meet again and rekindle their love. Their friends invite them to perform in a concert for vacationers at a mountain resort,[2] where they sing about their feelings for each other.[1]



The idea to make a movie about Ukrainian pop-folk culture set in the Carpathian mountains arose from the fame of Smerichka and the popularity of the song "Chervona Ruta" in the Soviet Union. The original idea was to make a movie about Smerichka, using Vasily Zinkevich as the main actor (another soloist from the group, Nazariy Yaremchuk, had also been considered). As there was no female leading actor in Smerichka the scenario was changed to a simple plot about a sudden blaze of love between Boris, an unsophisticated miner, and the Bukovinian beauty Oksana. By 1971 Sofia Rotaru was already a well-known singer in Bukovina both for her pop-folk songs and for her victory at the 1968 International Song Festival in Bulgaria. She was at that time a teacher at the Chernivtsi Musical College. When filming of the first Ukrainian musical started in Yaremche Rotaru was given the role of Oksana.

In the film Sofia Rotaru performs "Grey-winged Bird" — the Italian hit song Italian: L'immensità, professionally translated in Ukrainian by Roman Kudlyk, "Draw Me the Night" and "Autumn Is Close", and also (in duet with Zinkevych) "Vodohray".

The recording of "Vodohray" by the tenor Vasil and the alto Sofia was not used in the final version of the film. Instead Nazariy Yaremchuk's voice was dubbed in place of Vasyl Zinkevych, and Mariya Isak's voice was dubbed in place of Sofia Rotaru in the song. It appears that the original performance had a defective soundtrack.[3] In the film Maria Isak appears fifth in the row of five girls, for a couple of seconds.

The fact that the soundtrack for the song "Vodohray" was recorded by other singers was revealed only thirty years later. After the release of the television movie, the singers became famous in the USSR and in Eastern Europe.

  • Director producer: Roman Oleksiv
  • Scenario: M.Skochilyas, Roman Oleksiv
  • Sound operator: Vasyl Strikhovych
  • Caneraman: A. Derbinyan
  • Director's assistant: A. Savchenko
  • Cameraman's assistant: A. Ermolichik
  • Montage: V. Chernousova, N. Kovali
  • Editor: T. Derzkaya
  • Director: B. Dubitskiy


Songs performed in the film:

  • "На швидких поїздах" ("On Fast Trains")
  • "Течія" ("The Current")
  • "В руки ми берем свої дзвінкі гітари" ("We Take Our Melodious Guitars Into Our Hands")
  • "Мила моя" ("My Dear One")
  • "Залишені квіти" ("Left Flowers")
  • "Водограй" ("Waterfall")
  • "Незрівнянний світ краси" ("Uncomparable World of Beauty")
  • "Бежит река" ("The River Runs")
  • "О сизокрилий птах" ("Greywinged Bird" — Ukrainian cover of L'immensità)
  • "Червона рута" ("Chervona Ruta")
  • "Намалюй мені ніч" ("Paint Me The Night")
  • "Відлітають журавлі" ("The Cranes Are Flying Away")
  • "У Карпатах ходить осінь" ("Autumn Comes to the Karpaty")
  • "Там, де гори і ліси" ("Where There Are Mountains and Forests")

Performing musical ensembles:


Text authors:

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Музичні фільми та концерти: Червона рута" (in Ukrainian). Сторінки пам’яті Володимира Івасюка. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  2. ^ The Carpathian mountains are a popular Soviet/Ukrainian vacation resort for ski-ing in winter and rafting in summer.
  3. ^ Chervona Ruta Archived 12 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]