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FACT presents

Viy [12]

FACT, 88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4DQ
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Runtime: 78 minutes mins

Genre: Horror

Based on the horror novella by writer Nikolai Gogol, Viy tells the story of Khoma Brut (Leonid Kuravlyov), a student at a monastery in Kiev. While travelling home at the end of term with two fellow seminarians the group become lost. As night falls they take shelter at the house of an older woman but as Khoma begins to sleep, he is awoken by the woman who snatches him up to fly together through the night sky. Realising he has been caught by a witch, Khoma struggles free and takes his revenge. As the witch takes her final breath, she transforms into a young woman (Natalya Varley) causing Khoma to panic and flee the scene. Back at the monastery, a delegation arrives demanding that Khoma must watch and pray over the corpse of the young woman for three nights. Arriving at the village, the student soon discovers that he must spend the nights locked in the church alone with the body of the very witch he’d left for dead.

Gogol was one of the first to use the technique of the grotesque in his writing. His early works are influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and Viy in particular brings together many disparate elements from folklore. Known for its masterful cinematic effects by Soviet animator and fantasy film director Aleksandr Ptushko, the film is “a must-see for every aficionado of folk-horror and dark fairytales.” - Anne Billson, Sight & Sound.

Doors: 18:30. Screening: 19:00

This event does not include adverts before the screening. Doors open 30 minutes before the screening and the programme will start promptly at 19:00. Please arrive in plenty of time to help our team ensure everyone has a great experience.


Tickets — £6-10


This film was selected by artist Uma Breakdown because of their interest in Gogol’s writing style which incorporates unreliable and borrowed narratives, and Ptushko’s aesthetics.

Speaking about Viy, Uma says “Ptushko emphasises that Viy is an unstable folktale made from parts that don’t necessarily fit and told by people who don't know exactly what has transpired. His theatrical approach to sets and photography combined with special effects and animation prefigure the tone of Ralph Bashki’s Lord of The Rings, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy."

Don’t miss Uma Breakdown's solo exhibition at FACT from 20 October 2023 - 28 January 2024 that explores the structures and history of Gothic narratives, and their creative relationships to time, space, identity and social relations.

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