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My Unknown Soldier

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
79 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Michal Kráčmer, Sergei Serpuhov
Anna Kryvenko
Andris Dzenitis, Yair Elazar Glotman, David Střeleček
Radka Šišuláková
Daria Chernyak
Anna Kryvenko
Viktor Krivosudský
The Prague Spring, Soviet tanks, the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops, the epoch-making year of 1968: the starting points of a family history between Czechia, Ukraine and Russia. “The occupation translates to a man with a dachshund being entitled to yell at a young girl in a tram because he can’t tell Ukrainian and Russian apart.”

A series of family album photos from which a man was removed sets Anna Kryvenko, a Ukrainian who studies film in Prague, on the trail of her great-uncle: the “unknown soldier”, to whom so many monuments are dedicated that one almost forgets that this sweeping gesture of remembrance refers to concrete faces, names, dates of birth and death, biographies cut short. After some initial hesitation the filmmaker’s family break their silence and gradually the pieces combine to form a new picture in which family and world history intersect.

Fabian Tietke

Nominated for the MDR Film Prize