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International Programme 2013
Cornered Dmytro Tiazhlov

The Ukrainian village of Panasivka has no public transport connection. A plucky citizen pits herself against the authorities ... An amusing lesson in democracy.


Documentary Film
25 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ella Shtyka
Dmytro Tiazhlov
Dmytro Tiazhlov
Dmytro Tyazhlov
Karim Fadl Naser
Panasivka, Ukraine, has about 50 residents left, most of them old. There used to be a pig farm here, a post office, a bank, and a thrice-daily bus service to the city. If you want to go shopping today, you have to toil along the dusty dirt-road through the forest in one of the cars (always in need of repairs) – the road was never finished. But the ingenious citizen Zoya Ivanivna Shulha remembers a decree once passed by Father Yanukovich that promised all residents public transport connection, and a second that promised transparency in all administrative decisions. So they put their noses to the grindstone: letters are written, signatures of either incredulous or amused peasants are collected (“What for? It’s no use anyway.”), and from time to time shots of vodka are poured for the fatherland. Finally, even the president is addressed and a neat trick is played on the privatisation of the public sector.
We are reminded of Zoshchenko’s satires: “Aviation, it’s making progress.” Democracy, it’s making progress, too.

Grit Lemke