Books under movie covers | UA2DAY


Literary text is now increasingly perceived through cinema. A good (and not so) movie encourages you to turn to the original literary source. If the screen adaptation turned out to be good, then often the faces of the actors can be seen among the lines of the book. If, on the other hand, you went to watch a screen adaptation of a read-re-read work, then usually the reaction will be: “Phew, how they distorted everything!”. The reader will carefully watch the movie and say: “But it’s not like that in the book.” And the viewer will object: “Cinema is better.” Of course, both points of view have the right to life and depend on the quality of the works and on how much you are in awe of the adapted book.

However, both critics and those who want to watch the movie instead of reading the obligatory book should be careful. The movie will never, never match the book, and an attentive reader will easily expose you. A film adaptation, especially a good one, is always the author’s interpretation of the director and screenwriter (even if, as is often the case, the screenwriter is the writer himself).

Be that as it may, cinema makes a literary work more popular, and literature feeds cinema with good stories. That is why very often after the release of the film, the book it was based on is published again with a film cover.

A movie cover is a cover of a book, specially published or republished on the occasion of the release of a film or series, in the design of which a poster or a frame from the film is used.

Reprinting in a film cover, as a rule, is associated with increased interest of readers in the books that became the basis for the screen adaptation.

So let’s talk about several Ukrainian books and films of the last decade, which managed to use the cooperation of cinema and literature to the benefit of each other.

“Ivan Sila”

The adventure story of the famous children’s writer Oleksandr Gavrosh “Incredible Adventures of Ivan Sila” first saw the light of day in “Stary Lev Publishing House” in 2007. It tells about the strongman Ivan Sila. The prototype of the main character of the story was the legendary Transcarpathian hero Ivan Firtsak, who traveled halfway around the world, performing in the circus, where he won many bright victories.

In 2013, based on this story, it was filmed film (director – Viktor Andrienko). In 2014, “A-Ba-Ba-Ba-Ga-La-Ma-Ga” published a book illustrated with graphic stills from the film.

“The Century of Jacob”

“The Century of Jacob” is a novel by the Ukrainian writer Volodymyr Lys, published in 2010 by the “Family Leisure Club”. This is a kind of epic-biography of a Polish Ukrainian who, during his hundred years of age, survived five states: the Russian Empire, the Ukrainian People’s Republic, Poland, Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s USSR, and lived to see the state of Ukraine.

In 2016, the novel was filmed series of the same namewritten by Andriy Kokotyukha, and directed by Bata Nadich.

Volodymyr Lys noted that many storylines are simplified in the film, although it is dynamic. He also noted that the use of the Western Polissia dialect has disappeared in the film. The author noted that he was interested in the film, although some scenes were changed, and that the actor Stanislav Boklan may have already achieved Stupka’s plan. Let’s add that young Yakov was played by Roman Lutskyi.

In 2018, “KSD” republished a book with a frame from the mini-series on the cover.

“Guard post”

“Storozova Zastava” is a novel by a Ukrainian writer Volodymyr Rutkivskyi, the events of which take place in 1097 in Kievan Rus, where an ordinary Ukrainian fifth-grader mysteriously ends up. Initially, the work was written as a novel, which was published in 1991 in the magazine “Odnoklasnyk”.

Later, Rutkivskyi substantially reworked and added to his work, in 2012 it was published by the publishing house “A-ba-ba-ga-la-ma-ga” already as a novel. In 2017 the movie came out, directed by Yuriy Kovalev. At the same time, “A-ba-ba-ga-la-ma-ga” republished the book with a movie cover.


Andrii Kokotyukha’s book was published by the “Family Leisure Club” publishing house in 2012. The work consists of three parts, each of which is narrated by a different person. All three investigate stories about one of the commanders of the UPA, Danyla Chervony.

It was released in 2017 film by Zaza Bouadze, which is an adaptation of one of the parts of the novel. The plot has been slightly changed in the film, especially the ending. Now the film “Red. Behind the front line”.

The main role was played by an actor from the Lviv theater named after Lesya Kurbas Mykola Bereza. It is his portrait in the role of Danylo Chervony that graces the cover of the edition that was published in 2018 (“KSD”).


“Voroshilovgrad” is a novel by the Ukrainian writer Serhii Zhadan, published in 2010 by the Folio publishing house. The novel won the BBC Book of the Year competition in 2010, and in 2014 the novel was awarded the Swiss Jan Michalski Prize.

In 2014, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the BBC Ukraine award, the novel was declared the “BBC Book of the Decade”. In addition to Ukrainian, the novel was published in Russian, Polish, German, French and other languages.

In 2018, director Yaroslav Lodygin made a film based on the novel, which was named “Wild field”. The script was written by Yaroslav Lodygin, Serhii Zhadan and Natalka Vorozhbyt. Lodygin and Zhadan agreed even before filming began that the book and the film should be separated, and the book “should be left behind”

Nevertheless, in 2018, “KSD” published a novel with a film cover, on which we see two titles – “Voroshilovgrad” and “Dyke Pole”.

“Zakhar Berkut”

Ivan Franko’s novel “Zakhar Berkut” was written in 1882 and first appeared in 1883 in the magazine “Zorya”. Subsequently, the book was published dozens of times, in Ukrainian and in translation, in Braille and in audio format. In 1971, a film by Leonid Osyka was released.

The story of the struggle of the Carpathian peasants against the Mongol invasion returned to the big screens in 2019 in a joint screen adaptation of Ukraine and the USA. The director was Akhtem Seitablaev, and the main role was played by the “liquid Terminator” Robert Patrick. The tape was shot in English, but for Ukrainian distribution, the tape was dubbed in Ukrainian. Of course, the plot underwent changes, new heroes appeared, and the emphasis shifted to battle scenes.

At the beginning of September 2019, the “KSD” publishing house published Ivan Franko’s novel “Zakhar Berkut” in a film cover.

“Black Raven”

In Vasyl Shklyar’s novel “The Leftover. “Black Raven” is about one of the most dramatic and most silenced pages of Ukrainian history – the struggle of Ukrainian rebels against the communist authorities in Kholodny Yar. The book was published in 2009 by KSD. The writer was awarded the Shevchenko Prize, but refused it in protest against Dmytro Tabachnyk’s tenure as Minister of Education.

The book was published several times, and in 2019 “KSD” published it under a film cover. On the cover we see a frame from the film and Taras Tsimbalyuk in the main role. Director the movie became Taras Tkachenko, the tape was released at the end of 2019.

The film could provoke a scandal, because Vsil Shklyar said that he was removed from the filming process. However, everything was peaceful.

“Felix Austria”

A novel by Sofia Andruhovych “Felix Austria” was published in 2014 by the Lviv Stary Lev Publishing House. The novel is written as a diary of the main character Stefa, who lives in Stanisławów on the border of the 20th and 21st centuries and who has a strange love-hate relationship with her mistress Adele.

A film was released in 2020 “Devoted”, directed by Khrystyna Syvolap, the role of the Ukrainian Stefania was played by the Polish actress Marianna Janushevich, and the role of the Pole Adele by the Ukrainian Olesya Romanova. In 2019, “Old Lion Publishing House” released an updated edition with a cover designed by Svitlana Dorosheva in the style of a movie poster. Also, “VSL” published “Galician Delights” – a cookbook based on the novel and film, edited by a researcher of Galician cuisine Marianna Dushar.

“Coffee with cardamom”

Quite recently, a series was released on television “Coffee with cardamom”. Iryna Gromozda became the director, Olena Lavreniuk, Pavel Delong, Taras Tsimbalyuk played the main roles. The historical series tells about the forbidden love of a Ukrainian woman and a Polish nobleman, which takes place in Lviv during the “Spring of Nations”.

It is based on the novel by the Lviv writer Nataliya Gurnytska “The melody of coffee in the tonality of cardamom”. The publishing house “KSD” published the book in 2013, and on the occasion of the release of the series, it was republished again.

“Forest Song”

Lesya Ukrainka’s cult drama extravaganza is known to everyone. It was first staged in 1918. The drama was published as a separate edition in January 1914. It has survived many productions, editions and several screen adaptations (the most famous of which is the screen adaptation by Yuriy Illenko).

And work on the Ukrainian animation “long-term construction” should be completed soon “Dryad. Forest Song” (directors – Oleksandra Ruban, Oleg Malamuzh). Apparently, the well-known plot will be greatly reworked here, the authors promised a happy ending at the beginning of the work. Work on the 3D project began back in 2015, the premiere is promised in 2022.

In 2020, “Kyiv Book House” released a special edition dedicated to the world release of the cartoon. Lesya Ukrainka’s original drama was published in two languages ​​in one book – Ukrainian and English. The rights to the English translation were granted by the American director and translator Virlyana Tkach. The translation was made in co-authorship with the American poetess Wanda Phipps for the play that Virlyana Tkach staged with the joint efforts of the Yara Art Group from New York and the Lviv Theater named after Lesya Kurbas. The play was shown in 1994 in Lviv and New York.

“Who are you”

The story of the film cover of Artem Chekh’s autobiographical novel “Who Are You” deviates from the traditional course of events. The fact is that director Iryna Tsylyk started working on the film Me and Felix based on the novel “Who are you” even before the book saw the light of day. Work on the film continues, the book was published by Meridian Czernowitz publishing house with a still from the upcoming film on the cover. The book and the film tell about the growing up of the boy Timofey in the 90s, his family, friends, first love and relationship with the former counterintelligence officer Felix, who became part of his family. The story develops against the background of the stormy 90s.

It should be noted that cinema and literature are strongly connected in the project not only by the cover: the famous writer Yurko Izdryk played the role of Felix. You can read the novel already, but you will have to wait a little longer for the movie.

Share post:



More like this