Collider can exclusively unveil the trailer for Once Upon a Time in Ukraine, aka Inglorious Serfs, an upcoming action comedy inspired by the work of Quentin Tarantino. Mixing alternative history, ultra-violence, and good humor, Once Upon a Time in Ukraine is finally crossing the ocean after becoming a cult classic in Europe.
The trailer teases the wacky concept of Once Upon a Time in Ukraine, which imagines what would happen if famous poet Taras Shevchenko (played by Roman Lutskyi) would have crossed paths with a samurai in the 19th century. The story follows Akayo (Sergey Strelnikov), a young samurai who goes to Ukraine for revenge after an enslaver wrongly claims possession of his master’s swords. That’s why he decides to join forces with Taras, who wants to free his beloved from the clutches of the same evil man.
While the movie’s original title pays homage to Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, and the US title nods at Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the trailer underlines how writer and director Roman Perfilyev drew from other movies from the fan-favorite Hollywood director. By using sword fighting as a storytelling tool, Perfilyev was obviously inspired by Kill Bill. At the same time, the Western buddy journey of Taras and Akayo plays similarly to Django Unchained. Once Upon a Time in Ukraine’s trailer is not just about echoing Tarantino’s style, though, as the movie promises to be an original story filled with good laughs and stylish violence.
By its trailer alone, Once Upon a Time in Ukraine looks like a blast. It also feels good to get access to an Ukranian production that celebrates art as a tool to make us laugh, especially since the country has been suffering so much for more than a year. Perfilyev’s movie is also a great gateway to learning more about Ukranian cinema, not only because it’s inspired by Tarantino’s Hollywood style, but also because Once Upon a Time in Ukraine was extremely well-received in Europe. After its world premiere in 2020, Perfilyev took his movie to multiple film festivals, gathering awards and nominations along the way.
When Is Once Upon a Time in Ukraine Coming to Theaters?
Once Upon a Time in Ukraine also stars Kateryna Sliusar, Gen Seto, Yakov Tkachenko, Andriy Malynovych, Andriy Borys, and Li Berlinskaya.
Once Upon a Time in Ukraine comes to theaters on April 14. You can check out the exclusive trailer and the movie’s synopsis below.
A Ukrainian serf named Taras teams up with the samurai Akayo to get revenge for Akayo’s master and to free his beloved Maria from a slave master.