Programme Review

Serhiy Bukovsky’s memories of Borys Peter

25 March 2021

We are sharing Serhiy Bukovsky’s memories about cooperation with Borys Peter. Films from the Borys Peter. Silent Pause programme will be available to watch in the DOCUSPACE Online Cinema.


I can’t believe it. He is in the credits of four of my films. I was lucky: we made them together. For a long time, thoroughly, with inspiration. His soul is in every scene, the sound palette of the whole. Will the inexperienced audience hear it? The eternal question. And it has no answer. Or does it?

Letters are combined into words. Words into sentences. Only fragments.

2000. Kyiv, Kyivnaukfilm. 

Ihor Baraba and Borys Peter are editing the sound for Say Your Name. A small studio. It’s cold. We’re watching a finished episode. It’s extremely complex. Important. The culmination. A woman tells the story of how she escaped after the massacre of Jews in 1941. She hid under the bodies of the murdered people. A child. The German patrol noticed her. But it was night. She hid in the grass. On the edge of a cliff. Her sync is on the laptop screen. The laptop is in a train compartment. The camera pans to the bleak landscape outside the window. There are groves and dry grass outside. The camera returns to the train compartment, to the laptop screen. End of sync. An empty train corridor. The passengers are sleeping. A baby is crying somewhere.

Thirty… I think there were thirty noise tracks: the clickety-clack of wheels, the squeaking of the car, the flipping of pages. Ihor and Boria did everything perfectly. It’s a strong scene. Self-sufficient. Which means it drops out of the film’s fabric. They realize it. We change everything again. Watch it again. And again, and again. We’ve simplified everything. Embedded the scene in the context of the whole. Boria always thought in terms of the whole film. He never tried to shift the focus to himself.

2021. Hlevakha village.

Borys’s funeral. Saying goodbye. The coffin is lowered into the grave. The silence is broken by the sound of a train passing by. The wheels clack for a long time. I think: Boria would approve of this soundtrack. I recall our variations with the wheels.

And Boria’s pervasive, beaming smile: “Serhiy Anatolich! What if we do it this way? Let’s see.”


My last work with Boria. A three-part film, V. Sylvestrov. The gradient of quiet music. A lot of silence. It needs to be made. The maestro’s drafts play off screen, recorded by himself in his apartment. A pastoral to lyrics by Shevchenko. A creaking voice. The sound quality is terrible. Boria’s magical work. He pulls it all out. He saves the soundtrack. Chills down my spine: that’s how the voice sounds now. We edit the sound for two months. Will the inexperienced audience hear it? I know the answer. They will definitely feel it.

Borys Peter’s daughter sings in the Shchedryk Choir. They will sing before a screening in Borys Peter’s retrospective.


25 – 
April 2022