When the Trees Fall

Directed by Marysia Nikitiuk
88 Minutes
Ukraine, Poland, North Macedonia
Not Rated
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The story of a five year old little rebellious girl Vitka with her teenage cousin Larysa and her boyfriend, the young criminal Scar unfolds in a Ukrainian provincial setting. Larysa finds herself at a crossroads after the death of her father. Yearning to be self made, the village community ostracizes her for loving Scar. Larysa discovers her grandmother once sacrificed her love for a young gypsy abandoning him for traditional values and other people's opinions. Larysa's mother is too psychologically weak to support her daughter. Larysa and Scar plan to escape from a life of crime, misery and their relatives. But are they ready to pay the full price for freedom?

  • Highest Rating
    "A debut feature bursting with audacity, flair and energetic promise, When the Trees Fall (Koly padayut dereva) propels 31-year-old Ukrainian writer-director Marysia Nikitiuk into the leading ranks of younger filmmakers from eastern/central Europe. Straddling several genres with aplomb ... Nikitiuk socks over a full-blooded enterprise punctuated with steamy sex, brutal violence and flights of enigmatic, extravagant fantasy. In terms of established art house names, it could be possibly positioned as Carlos Reygadas crossed with Andrei Zvyagintsev."
    Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter
  • Highest Rating
    "[I]t is a beautiful tale of hope, life, and the joyful weightlessness of dreaming."
    Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, The Blue Lenses
  • Highest Rating
    "Marysia Nikitiuk’s first film is intense and full of vitality...."
    Ola Salwa, CineEuropa
  • Highest Rating
    "...visually exquisite and sophisticated."
    Victor Fraga, Dirty Movies
  • Highest Rating
    "Ukrainian first-time feature director Marysa Nikitiuk’s When the Trees Fall is a fairytale of gasping, screaming excess, where narrative is seconded to an intense visual lyricism"
    Missouri Williams, Another Gaze

Awards & Recognition