n solidarity with Ukraine, Tënk announced a special series of Ukrainian documentaries available as of this Friday, April 22. Five films were selected in order to help viewers learn about the country, its history, and its cinematic riches.
The platform will present Mariupolis (2016), in tribute to the late Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius who was killed at the beginning of this month by the Russian army while trying to leave Mariupol, where he had returned in order to document the siege. First shown at the Berlinale, Mariupolis investigates the eastern Ukrainian city caught up in conflict between the government and pro-Russian separatists.
In order to dig deeper, cinephiles can discover the short films Diorama (2018) and Territory of Empty Windows (2020) by Zoya Laktionova, which evoke how unrest between Russian-speaking rebels and the Ukrainian army changed the way people in Mariupol live.
Tënk subscribers can also discover The Cacophony of Donbas (2018) by Igor Minaev, an enlightening film that looks back at the contemporary history of Donbass, an important mining region. Minaev deconstructs propaganda from the USSR through the use of archives of both documentary and fiction films.
This spotlight on Ukraine wraps up with Don’t Worry The Doors Will Open (2019), in which Oksana Karpovych transports the viewer into the elektrychkas, the suburban trains that date back to the Soviet era upon which passengers travel between Kyiv and various small provincial towns. Following its subjects from one filthy train car to another, from one station to another, day and night, the film offers an immersion into the daily struggles of survival in a post-Soviet country. An atmospheric portrait of Ukrainian society in movement filled with humanity.
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