INDEPENDENCE, ROCKETS & BORSCH
Over 25 years in the making since Ukraine declared its independence. A revolution in 2014 saw millions of Ukrainians take to the streets to overthrow a corrupt regime and to look to the west. A direct invasion and illegal bloody and hybrid war by Russia then created the biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe. In response, Ukraine has undergone a cultural and artistic revolution and a cinematic renaissance. While politics can be both stale and exhilarating, where hope resides, a new generation through their art are asking what kind of country, in what kind of world do they want to live in?Grappling with the everyday to the cosmic, with the realities of life and death, Ukrainian filmmakers use art as their weapon, their critical inquiry and as a mirror; spanning human rights & social justice, tragedy and comedy in a country undergoing enormous change. The program will include unmissable shorts screened at Odessa, Kyiv, Berlin and Cannes film festivals.
Curated by Julian Knysh
This screening is dedicated to the families and friends of victims of the downing of flight MH17.
This session is also in honour to filmmaker Oleg Sentsov who has spent the last five years in a Russian jail on false charges. His 145 day hunger strike demanding the release of all other illegally detained prisoners of conscience ended only for the threat of forced feeding. Sentsov and 34 others were released through a prisoner exchange and arrived back in Ukraine 7th September.
There are at least 120 Ukrainian political prisoners sitting in jails in Russia and Russian-annexed Crimea.
World War II. German soldiers killed a military cameraman and take the camera as a trophy. In a country house occupied by Germans the camera comes alive and shoots some good and peaceful moments of life, however, the terrible things the German officer committed came onto the camera. The camera decides to stop the officer at any cost.
Eyemo movie camera by Bell-Howell was created in 1925. The camera revolutionised cinema. It gave then the unique opportunity to make movies by holding the camera directly in the hands instead of having to use a tripod. Operators nicknamed the camera Eyemo (Eye and Mo – movie)
Is what a camera sees enough in the face of evil?
A visual comedy in a meta-film about overcoming clichés in cinema and in life. A desaturated girl tries to get her colour back until she meets someone who changes her view of herself and the world around her.
A typical morning in a Lviv household. The family having breakfast. Suddenly, something terrible happens – The eldest daughter appears on screen with a different colour correction and is tragically mismatched with her perfectly saturated environment and other characters: she is desaturated. The destaurated heroine realizes that the film will end in 9 minutes. Will she be able to change her colouring
Leninopad: The Fall of Lenin
Ironic documentary film about the farewell to the phantoms of the USSR in Ukraine. The spiritual séance with the ghost of Lenin guides us through our past, present and the future. The film presents the dawn and the twilight of idols, and the curious afterlife of history’s ghosts.
Bike Messenger Tioma lives a contented life in a world of his own interests. Meanwhile, war rages in the East of his country. War seems an illusion, like a fantasy retold by the media. Until, one day, it reaches Tioma in the form of refugee boy, who steals his bicycle.
The Fabulous Squirt is a female superhero who turns radical extreme right wing ultra nationalist vigilantes into happy My Little Ponies who love everyone. She possesses the power to queer the norm. Pink, blue and violet are added to black, the binary becomes infinite variability; the weapon turns to confetti and a celebration of life...
Fabulous Squirt was exhibited in Izolyatsia; Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Kyiv; and in Yermilov Centre, Kharkiv, Ukraine. It had its international premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. It’s part of the ‘ARMED AND DANGEROUS COLLECTIVE PROJECT’.
With children, we are reminded of growing up, of discovering and choosing who we are and who we become. As adults, these moments happen unexpectedly, without warning. The front line of the war in Eastern Ukraine passes through all places where otherwise no one notices. We all hold positions on this line. Small victories can happen side by side – in the subway, at school, in the store... The Vocie is three minutes in the lives of a woman and a girl who make their own small victories.
A Kobzar Workshop
Кобзарський цех Viktor Priduvalov
Nastunya lost her voice once her mother was gone and for the longest time can only mumble her songs, The brothers from the kobzar guild go to the forest to find a tree from which to make a kobza bandura. When the brothers finish making the instrument they travel to Kyiv to perform at a concert dedicated to the ATO soldiers. In a miracle, Nastunya’s voice returns.The bandura is a unique instrument, which has become the national musical instrument of Ukraine, a title few music instruments have. It is intricately entwined with the history of Ukraine and the struggles of the Ukrainian people from the times of the Kozak State, to the current struggles in Ukraine today. For this reason, like no other instrument, the performers on the bandura have undergone significant persecution from foreign authorities throughout histry who have seen in the instrument and its repertoire something they could not destroy.