Film Archive

Young Cinema Competition (until 2014) 2014
All Things Ablaze Oleksandr Techynskyi, Aleksey Solodunov, Dmitry Stoykov

The Maidan as a battlefield: protest turns into violence and loss of control – on both sides. A breathless, unstoppable movement, driven by the energy of the masses, towards the inferno.

All Things Ablaze

Documentary Film
Ukraine
2014
82 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Yulia Serdyukova
Oleksandr Techynskyi, Aleksey Solodunov, Dmitry Stoykov
Anton Baibakov
Oleksandr Techynskyi, Aleksey Solodunov, Dmitry Stoykov
Marina Maykovskaya, Aleksey Solodunov
Oleg Golovoshkin, Boris Peter
The Ukraine may be ablaze for a while yet and the symbol of the Maidan in Kiev – burning barrels and tyre barricades – may continue to be the visual and olfactory nexus of the revolutionary memory. Sooty faces, determined but tired, their heads bloody but hard. The many-voiced battle cry “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes”, a strange common denominator shared by all the rebels, echoes across the square. What started with drums, bagpipes and European flags and turned seamlessly into bloody resistance against the truncheon battalions and violence on both sides sparked – which this collective project, expressive and informative despite its abstinence of commentary makes abundantly clear – an energy in the masses that was unpredictable and unstoppable.
There is a scene at the heart of the film whose length takes it to the limits of endurance but makes its symbolism almost palpable: protesters joyfully and forcefully demolish a huge bust of Lenin, taking victory photos (not quite sure about what precisely Lenin has to do with their hatred) while an old Soviet character hugs his beloved colossal stone fragment and refuses to let go until he almost collapses. The Maidan as a battlefield. Quelle horreur!

Barbara Wurm



MDR Film Prize 2014

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

Maidan

Documentary Film
Netherlands,
Ukraine
2014
128 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Sergei Loznitsa, Maria Choustova-Baker
Sergei Loznitsa
Sergei Loznitsa, Serhiy Stefan Stetsenko, Mykhailo Yelchev
Danielius Kokanauskis, Sergei Loznitsa
Vladimir Golovnitski
They sing the national anthem, together and with pathos, alone and accompanied by a guitar. They sing (an allusion to their unpopular President Yanukovych) “Vitya, ciao, Vitya, ciao, Vitya, ciao ciao ciao!”, Christmas carols and Ukrainian folk songs, they versify, rhyme, mock, revolt, celebrate. They rest, take care of each other, warm, cook and feed each other. They stick together and feel free. A new time has come. They can feel it.
Putting current political events in documentary form rarely succeeds. Sergei Loznitsa’s film “Maidan” is all the more impressive since it was completed a few months after the decisive events in Kiev. His long, calm and uncommented shots gradually coalesce into a narrative and something much bigger: the chronicle of a revolutionary national awakening, and, on another, higher level, the universal image of a people’s rebellion. The presence of the rostrum announces itself only on the soundtrack, likewise the bangs of smoke bombs and snipers later. Chants turn into battle cries, enthusiasm and esprit turn into fighting, heaviness, grief and ultimately mourning.
Today, as another few months have passed, one wishes that time had come to a standstill with the end of this film.

Barbara Wurm



Honorary Mention in the International Competition Documentary Film 2014

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