On 29 May–5 June, the online platform for the professional audience of Festival Scope Pro will provide access to films from the DOCU/UKRAINE programme of Docudays UA-2022. Despite the fact that screenings in Kyiv were postponed due to the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, the films will be available to film industry professionals, film critics and programmers from all over the world as part of the international campaign against Russian military aggression.
Each film will be accompanied with commentary by film critic Darya Badyor, who was supposed to moderate the discussions after the screenings at our festival in Kyiv. Here are Darya’s brief reviews of the films. We invite our international friends to watch them.
Infinity According to Florian by Oleksiy Radynski
A nuanced observation on the main topic of a pre-war Kyiv: the limitless power of developers. Radynski shows the opposition of an insightful life of an architect who designed one of the weirdest and most meaningful buildings in Kyiv and the capitalistic cynicism that ruins the city’s uniqueness. Florian Jur’jev’s philosophy of galaxy’s mortality, of a ‘beautiful zero’ we all are going to end up with eventually, of human imperfection that devours nature, contrasts with the stubbornness of a businessman who is inspired by Donald Trump in a ridiculous and hazardous way.
Pryvoz by Eva Neiman
Eva Neiman walks us on a sentimental journey through the main market in Odesa, a port city in the South of Ukraine. Pryvoz is somehow a place of recurring myth: it is mentioned in songs and books and is truly one of the hearts of this ambivalent city with a complicated history. Neiman’s eye looks at the inhabitants of the market with compassion and empathy: these are the lost souls in human, dog, or cat bodies. The opera soundtrack—fragments of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers—adds the sense of fatality to the old vivid market of Pryvoz in the city that Russia is shelling in a full-scale war against Ukraine in 2022.
Plai. A mountain Path by Eva Dzhyshyashvili
Eva Dzhyshyashvili shows us a family that lives in the mountains and follows its daily rituals. At first glance, it’s a simple, quiet life not bothered by the outer world. However, when the picture unfolds, we see that the grandfather was wounded in the war in the East of Ukraine and many conversations circling this war. The feeling that there is nowhere to hide from military aggression strikes the most, but the ending gives a small lining of hope.
Mountains and Heaven in Between by Dmytro Hreshko
Four paramedics in a distant mountain village at the beginning of the Covid pandemic go from one house to another, from measurements to diagnoses, from tired older women to drunken middle-aged men. Hreshko watches them closely as the seasons and holidays change and people get baptised, married, and buried. Yet, the ambulance team stays the same, does its job, and thus provides the emotional core of this kaleidoscope of people’s stories and tragedies. Shaped by the folk music, Mountains and heaven in between demonstrates the contrast between something ‘traditional’ and stable and the rapid changes that a global pandemic can bring.
Stills from Plai. A Mountain Path, Mountains and Heaven in Between, Infinity according to Florian, Pryvoz