Fifty years ago, a film was produced in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic titled “White Bird with a Black Insignia.” There is at least one other English translation, “White Bird Marked With Black,” which I believe misses the point that both screenwriters were making. They used the term “oznaka” in Ukrainian, which connotes designation, when they could have used “pliama” to denote a black mark if their intent was to denigrate.
The film was produced by the even then world-famous Film Studio of Oleksander Dovzhenko in Kyiv. Its screenwriters were also well-known, at least in the USSR, Yuriy Ilyenko and Ivan Mykolaichuk, the latter more so for his work as an actor in the internationally acclaimed film “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” (1964). Ilyenko was the director of “White Bird with Black Insignia.” Additional major credits belonged to the well-known actress Larissa Kadochnykova and the cinematographer later to become world recognized, Vilen Kalyuta, who was born 90 years ago.