Directed by Jessica Oreck • 2014 • United States, Poland
Within a dense forest there lingers a sense of sinister foreboding, where the fairy tales of childhood persist within the subconscious. For generations of Slavic peoples, this fear manifested itself in the form of the mythical witch Baba Yaga—to roam too near her hut perched on chicken legs was to risk being roasted for her dinner. In spite of this culturally ingrained dread, the turbulence of war, famine, and destruction brought fleeing refugees to these woods for shelter, nourishment, and sanctuary, and in so doing, reshaped an entire culture’s perception of nature. Following fables and personal memories like a trail of breadcrumbs, THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA descends into Eastern Europe’s haunted woodlands to uncover the secrets and bloody histories that shape the sociology of fear, imagination, and survival.