Natalie Gravenor | Wednesday July 1st, 2015 | 1
Early July is a good opportunity to experience Ukrainian filmmaking past and present in all its diversity. Until July 2, the Ukrainian Film Days are screening a small, carefully curated program at the Babylon cinema. A special preview of Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s groundbreaking festival sensation “The Tribe“ opened the festival (German theatrical release is scheduled for October 2015). Also showing: Sergej Loznitsa‘s epic documentary “Maidan”, a chronicle of the protests in 2013/2014 – Loznitsa currently resides in Germany; a biopic of innovative and persecuted Soviet-era filmmaker Sergej Paradjanov (born in Georgia to Armenian parents, worked in the then Ukrainian SSR) along with his early classic THE SHADOWS OF THE FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS and the crowdfunded documentary “Release Oleg Sentsov” in support of the director who has been imprisoned since May 2014 apparently for criticizing the Russian annexation of the Crimea. The documentary is screening before Sentsov’s intense 2012 drama “Gamer” about a teenager for whose life revolves around becoming a world champ at computer games.
immediately following the Ukrainian Film Days is a program of 1930s films from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic at the Arsenal. The selection highlights the leading role Ukrainian cinema played within the Soviet avantgarde. This is a good as an opportunity as any to catch Dziga Vertov’s essential “Man With A Movie Camera” and “Enthusiasm” (shot in the Ukrainian Donbass region) and “In Spring” by Vertov’s brother Mikhail Kaufman. Or discover Alexander Dovzhenko’s “Arsenal” and “Zvenigora” and other bold experiments from the time. The prints have been recently restored by the Alexander Dovzhenko Center in Kyiv. The retrospective runs until July 10.
realeyz features a selection of Sergej Loznitsa’s earlier documentaries and feature narratives.