Film Archive

International Programme 2019
Above the Styx Maria Stoianova

Easter on a Kiev cemetery: People flock to the graves of their beloved ones, dine with them and celebrate life. An intimate social study of a country rich in traditions.

Above the Styx

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2019
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Maria Stoianova
Maria Stoianova
Anna Khvyl
Maria Stoianova, Yulia Danylchuk, Maria Terebus, Liudmyla Paraskiva, Kateryna Rybachuk, Anastasiya Feshchuk, Ivan Bershadskyi, Alla Onopchenko
Maria Stoianova
Maria Terebus
Andrii Rogachov
A young man meticulously sticks plastic flowers into the ground. An elderly couple arrange a picnic right next to a grave. A small cake, sandwiches, eggs. It’s Easter on a Kyiv cemetery. Countless people flock to the graves of their loved ones to celebrate life, commemorate the dead and collect a few drops of holy water from the priest. The group of filmmakers has made an accomplished intimate social study of the rich traditions of their homeland.

Julia Weigl
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.

Cornered

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2012
25 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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
International Programme 2016
People Who Came to Power Oleksiy Radynski, Tomáš Rafa

Campfires, tents, barricades, armoured vehicles, masked soldiers, enraged crowds chanting slogans, pictures of the fallen on the walls, coffins being unloaded from a car.

People Who Came to Power

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2015
17 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Lyuba Knorozok
Oleksiy Radynski, Tomáš Rafa
Tomáš Rafa
Oleksiy Radynski, Tomáš Rafa, Jan Wachowski
Veronika Kanisheva
Campfires, tents, barricades, armoured vehicles, masked soldiers, enraged crowds chanting slogans, pictures of the fallen on the walls, coffins being unloaded from a car. The restless camera captures flags, preferably Russian ones or the one of the Donbass People’s Republic, rarely the Ukrainian one (and only on the enemy’s side). People everywhere talk of peace, but the facts say: war. The disturbing snapshot of an anarchic chaos that once wanted to be freedom.

Grit Lemke

Positive

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2014
29 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Svitlana Zinovyeva
Polina Kelm
Anton Baibakov
Maryna Liapina, Anna Voytenko, Ruslan Girin
Polina Kelm
Polina Kelm
Dmytro Skrypka
They are a real collective of the old kind, working and sighing together, boiling eggs with the immersion heater, dancing with the only man at the Christmas party and faithfully feeding a few cats. Lena, Taya and Tamara are editors in a Kiev film studio. Dusty film cans containing the material of a glorious past are stacked in the dim corridors while the platters of ancient editing tables are turning.
Polina Kelm takes a tender look at a vanishing world in which films were made with dexterity and given respectful attention without the crunch of pop corn, a world which was about skills and yet stagnant like the whole country. It’s true the women at the splicers dream of a work like “Avatar” – knowing that neither their studio nor they will ever be part of that industry. But they’re doubtless right about one thing: a good film does not need 3D.
Grit Lemke

Swan

Animated Film
Ukraine
2014
4 minutes
subtitles: 
No

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Kateryna Zabavko
Oleksandr Danylenko
Kwoon
Oleksandr Danylenko, Kateryna Zabavko
Oleksandr Danylenko
Oleksandr Danylenko, Sandy Lavallart
Sandy Lavallart
Our souls are similar to swans. We have only one strong real love in life. But real love doesn’t care about time and distance.

The Dybbuk. A Tale of Wandering Souls

Documentary Film
Poland,
Sweden,
Ukraine
2015
90 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Krzysztof Kopczyński, David Herdies, Gennady Kofman
Krzysztof Kopczyński
Jacek Petrycki, Serhiy Stefan Stetsenko
Michał Leszczyłowski
Krzysztof Kopczyński
Mateusz Adamczyk, Marcin Lenarczyk, Sebastian Witkowski
Right at the start, an excerpt from the Yiddish-language Polish 1930s classic “The Dybbuk” opens an old wound: the world of the shtetl with its old folk beliefs has vanished. But the spirit of the dead, the Dibbuk, is still walking among us. And it has many faces.

We re-emerge from the past to find ourselves in the Ukrainian town of Uman just before “Euromaidan”. A sacred place for thousands of orthodox Jews who make the pilgrimage to the grave of the Hassidic rabbi Nachman and transform the town, annoying the Ukrainian citizens who are afraid of a sell-out and react with provocations. Sometimes it’s an illegally raised cross, sometimes an information board in honour of the anti-Semitic Cossack leader and butcher Ivan Gonta. Or, rather more subtly, extra fees for kosher snacks.

The worlds clash on many levels. With great curiosity, Krzysztof Kopczyński captures the almost incompatible legends and rituals that come alive on both sides. On the one hand a completely impoverished country in the process of finding its identity, accompanied by nationalistic overtones. On the other hand a lost tradition and the experience of the Holocaust. Who owns the country? The film mines a wealth of material full of impressions, rough scenes and fables to bring the unexpected to light.

Lars Meyer

The Winter Garden’s Tale

Documentary Film
Czech Republic,
Ukraine
2018
75 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Alex Chepiga, Taras Bosak, Artem Koliubaiev
Simon Mozgovyi
Roman Grygoriv, Elliah Razumeiko
Denis Melnik
Mykola Bazarkin, Simon Mozgovyi
Simon Mozgovyi
Natalya Avramenko, Andrii Nidzelskyi, Michal Pajdiak
For 45 years, all her working life, Valentina Voronina has worked in the greenhouse of the “Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic” in Kiev, now the “Expocenter of the Ukraine” and very much in need of renovation. She spends her days in a modest wooden bungalow in the middle of her small empire of plants, not far from the impressive but decaying giant winter garden. Now, in the midst of preparations for the next winter, she’s to go. The management is to be taken over by a landscape architect. But Valentina Voronina refuses to give way. She is convinced that the welfare of the plants depends on her personally. All at once her life’s work, the history of the greenhouse to which the plants bear testimony, is threatened. A film about the end of an era.

Fabian Tietke


Nominated for the MDR Film Prize