Focus on Ukraine

In the past three years, Ukraine was dramatically shaken by the revolution and the war, which continues to make headlines in international news and profoundly affected the society. The reporting on the situation in the country remains highly politicized. What stays overshadowed by the big politics is the plight of the individuals, left to carry on with their daily lives in the situation where the familiar world is shaken to the core. In contrast to the fleeting reportages, documentaries offer an unparalleled degree of immersion and insight into the individual stories that otherwise do not make it to the media. Shunning easy conclusions, they allow the viewers to discover complex entangled identities. Such a personal investigation is undertaken by Vitaly Mansky in Close Relations, which focuses on the director’s extended family scattered across Ukraine. Discussions between the Lviv and Sebastopol relatives become increasingly dense, but at the same time family relations are the fragile threads that sustain conversation between politically polarized family members. Another way of grasping social changes is a detached but attentive anthropological survey of the everyday life, whose ‘uneventfullness’ makes it for the most part stay off the record. A remarkable attempt to catch the daily routine in the city during the war is undertaken by Mantas Kvedaravic˘ius (Mariupolis), who immerses himself and his camera into the multilayered fabric of Mariupol, uncovering layers of ethnic plurality and post-Soviet legacies in the town which balances at the frontline’s edge, living with the continuing anticipation of attack. The exploration of daily life is also at the center of Roman Bondarchuk’s Ukrainian Sheriffs – a unique blend of drama and irony in the narrative that centers on a two-men team, replacing the police force in the village of Stara Zburjivka in the Kherson region, South Ukraine. Even there, where the problems seem to be minor and for the most part solved communally, the war is slowly encroaching, sharply dividing the community. Finally, the program takes us to the heartland of separatists in the Donbass area, where two volunteers from Russia arrive and take up arms believing in their patriotic “duty” and finally, deeply disillusioned, quit the war haunted by the questions of the meaning of their action and the burden of the human losses they too become responsible for. The four films in the Verzio thematic block “Focus on Ukraine” offer a unique possibility to see the country and its inhabitants from up close and to understand that the reality is highly more complicated than any one-sided manifestation would like us to believe.

Vitaly Mansky Germany & Ukraine & Estonia & Latvia 2016 112min Russian & Ukrainian
Director Vitaly Mansky explores the social and political rifts of the Ukraine-Russia conflict by focusing on his own extended family.
Művész
Nov 11, 18:00
English & Hungarian Subtitles
Toldi
Nov 13, 18:30
English & Hungarian Subtitles
Mantas Kvedaravičius Lithuania & Ukraine & Germany & France 2016 90min Russian & Ukrainian
Anthropology of everyday life during the war: in spite of the explosions at the city’s perimeters, life goes on in Mariupol accompanied by the Orthodox Church bells and the squealing of the tram.
Művész
Nov 10, 22:00
English Subtitles
Művész
Nov 13, 18:45
English Subtitles
Elena Volochine France 2016 72min Russian
Driven by TV propaganda and their thirst for adventure, Oleg and Max arrive to Eastern Ukraine from Russia to pick up arms, believing they're fulfilling their patriotic duty. Unique personal testimonies of one side of the war.
Toldi
Nov 9, 22:15
English Subtitles & Hungarian Simultaneous Translation
Kino
Nov 12, 17:00
English Subtitles
Roman Bondarchuk Ukraine & Germany & Latvia 2015 80min Ukrainian
In a remote Ukrainian village with no police force, a two-man team is put in charge of safety. A detail-oriented and tragicomic insight into their everyday life.
Toldi
Nov 11, 20:30
English & Hungarian Subtitles
Kino
Nov 12, 19:00
English & Hungarian Subtitles