The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga. 2013. USA/Russia/ Ukraine/Poland. Directed by Jessica Oreck. Courtesy Argot Pictures

Jessica Oreck’s strange and beguiling film, one of the highlights of MoMA's New Directors/New Films 2014, combines Eastern European storybook animation with documentary and fiction elements to recount the Slavic fable of the Witch Baba Yaga, a frightful character living in a woodland hut perched on chicken legs. In Baba Yaga, as with her previous documentary hybrids, Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys and Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, Oreck is fascinated by the rituals, superstitions, and fables of diverse subcultures. In the case of Baba Yaga, Oreck focuses especially on the contemporary relevance of childhood stories to war and social upheaval; memory and trauma; and our relationship with the natural world, the threat we pose to that world, and the threat that world poses to us.

Organized by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film.

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