We are hosting a micro festival of films by filmmakers from Ukraine: six rarely seen features and one program of shorts. Admission is free. We are, however, requesting donations; all proceeds will be sent to Ukrainian humanitarian relief organizations. Where will your donation go? A list of aid organizations appears below.
The festival is co-sponsored by the IU Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and the Robert F. Byrnes Russian & East European Institute.
THE GUIDE Set in the 1930s, the movie tells the story of a 10-year-old American orphan who joins forces with a blind kobzar (a traveling Ukrainian musician) in a dangerous trek across Soviet-subjugated Ukraine, with a band of killers in pursuit. The film’s dramatic depiction of underdog resistance to armed aggression will resonate with viewers. Directed by Oles Sanin (127 min) The Guide will be introduced by Iryna Voloshyna, PhD Student Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology*
THE EARTH IS AS BLUE AS AN ORANGE Krasnohorivka: a town on the front lines of the war-torn region of Eastern Ukraine. When poet/filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk first visits the Trofymchuk-Gladky family home, she is surprised by what she finds: while the outside world is made up of bombings and chaos, single mother Anna and her four children are managing to keep their home as a safe haven, full of life and full of light. Every member of the family has a passion for cinema, so it feels natural for them to shoot a film inspired by their own life during a time of war. Winner of the Directing Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, The Earth is as Blue as an Orange stands not only as a remarkable document of the Russo-Ukrainian War through the lens – literally – of this family’s creative process, but as an optimistic testament to the power of art and beauty in the face of destruction. (2020 / 73 min)
THE CACOPHONY OF DONBAS This film takes a hard look at the Kremlin’s disinformation playbook and shatters the “myth of the Donbas” — Russia’s official version of atrocities in Donbas, a region in Ukraine. One such myth: following the fabrication of a “crucified boy,” circulated by the pro-Kremlin media back2014, there have been wild allegations of Ukrainian armed forces organizing “human safaris” where rich Westerners could allegedly buy the right to kill civilians in Donbas. The film uses archival footage and recordings of interviews with former Donbas residents who witnessed Russian aggression and became its victims. Life promised to become a symphony of work, joy and welfare. Instead, the symphony of the Donbas turned into a cacophony of the Donbas. Directed by Ihor Minaiev. Introduced by Stanislav Menzelevskyl*
ATLANTIS A prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival and Ukraine’s official selection for the 2021 Academy Awards, Atlantis is a gorgeous and visionary sci-fi drama. Eastern Ukraine, 2025….A desert unsuitable for human habitation. Water is a dear commodity brought by trucks. A Wall is being built on the border. Sergiy, a former soldier, is having trouble adapting to his new reality. He meets Katya while on the Black Tulip mission dedicated to exhuming the past. Together, they try to return to some sort of normal life in which they are allowed to fall in love again. (108 min) Introduced by Yuliya V. Ladygina*
TOLOKA Toloka is inspired by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko’s 19th century romantic ballad. When Catherine’s lover is taken away, she vows to rescue him. Catherine is beautiful and surrounded by suitors. She informs her admirers that she will marry whichever of them brings back her brother, who is secretly her lover in disguise. The poem and the film are inextricably linked to the history of Ukraine and the concept of forming a national identity.. Directed by Mykhailo Illienko. (110 min)
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS “There is no devil in church, only among men.” Deep in the Carpathian Mountains of 19th-century Ukraine, love, hate, life, and death among the Hutsul people are as they’ve been since time began. Ivan, who has been cursed by a sorcerer, is drawn to Marichka, the beautiful young daughter of the man who killed his father. But fate decrees that the two lovers remain apart. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a boldly conceived and astonishingly photographed blend of enchanting mythology, hypnotic religious iconography, and pagan magic. Its unsentimental depiction of the harsh realities of Russian regional history placed filmmaker Sergei Pararadjanov in direct conflict with bureaucrats then controlling the Soviet film industry. Nevertheless, the film became an international sensation when it was released in 1964. (92 min)
MARIUPOL, I LOVE YOU These four short films made by Mariupol localsshow life in the city before the invasion. It consists of four short films . These are stories of everyday life, dreams, and relationships. And how they were influenced by the first phase of the war in 2014. In Me and Mariupol a Donetsk-born director Piotr Armianovski is talking to people in search of the Mariupol he remembers from his childhood. Ma, by Maria Stoianova is a conversation between a mother and daughter created from amateur phone footage in the face of war. Territory of Empty Windows and Diorama by Mariupol-born Zoya Laktionova explore how the war has changed the face of the city. (Total runtime: 49 min)
Pandemic Protocols: Filmgoers must be vaccinated and must show proof of vaccination. Filmgoers must wear masks in the theater. Seating will be capped at 50% of capacity.
*An introduction to those who will be introducing the films…
Yuliya V. Ladygina, Professor at Penn State Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Eastern European literatures and cultures, with research interests in 19th-century Russian and Ukrainian literature, 19th-century German and Russian intellectual history, nationalism in Eastern Europe, interwar literature, Soviet and post-Soviet cinema, and the state-sponsored informational warfare in contemporary Russia and Ukraine. Her book, Bridging East and West: Ol’ha Kobylians’ka, Ukraine’s Pioneering Modernist (University of Toronto Press, 2019), stands out among many published articles, reviews, conference presentations, and translations of Ukrainian literature into English. Currently, Ladygina is working on a book project, The Reel Story of the Russian-Ukrainian War, 2014-2024, which examines the legacy of Soviet and Hollywood war films, as well as the influence of contemporary media practices in (mis)representing war, terror, and terrorism, in cinematic depictions of the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict. Before joining Penn State, Ladygina was a Research Fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at Williams College, and a Teaching Assistant Professor of Russian and Humanities at The University of the South (Sewanee), where she taught courses on Russian and comparative literature, film, rhetorical writing, Russian language, and the 19th- and 20th-century European and Russian intellectual history. At Sewanee, she has also served as a director of the Sewanee Summer in Russia Program.
Stanislav Menzelevskyi (The Cacophony of Donbas, April 24) is a PhD student in The Media School, IUB. He has previously earned a BA and MA degrees in Arts in Cultural Studies from the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”. Since November 2011 Stanislav had been working at the Ukrainian State Film State Archive (Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Center), whereas a Head of Research and Programming Department researched silent and sound soviet cinema, was involved in publishing activities, programmed film retrospectives, etc. Additionally, Stanislav was a visiting scholar at Columbia University (Carnegie Fellowship, 2013) and the University of California, Berkeley (Fulbright Scholarship, 20
Iryna Voloshyna (The Guide, both screenings) is a PhD student at the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University Bloomington. She is a Fulbright fellow, and received her MA in Folklore at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She earned her BA with honors in Philology and a specialist diploma in Translation at Khmelnytskyi National University.
Iryna worked with the New York State Council on the Arts, New York Folklore Society, Yara Arts Group, Ukrainian Museum in New York and Ukrainian-American Museum and Archive in Detroit; she also sang with the NYC-based ensemble Ukrainian Village Voices.
Iryna Voloshyna has published in Voices: Journal of New York Folklore, and Folklorica: Journal of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association, and her film review is forthcoming in Journal of American Folklore.
Research interests: cultural identity; politics of culture; material culture; performance studies; folk music; migration; diaspora studies; ICH; Slavic folklore; Ukraine; Eastern Europe; Ukrainian-Americans
Here is a list of organizations that your donation will help to support:
te/ (works directly with the command and personnel of military units, purchasing infrared thermal imaging cameras, night vision goggles, hemostatics etc)Army SOS – https://armysos.com.ua/ pomoch-armii (manages purchases of necessary ammunition, shields, intercommunication and reconnaissance facilities, etc. and delivers all goods directly)Hospitallers – https://www.facebook.com/ hospitallers/posts/ 2953630548255167 (works directly on the frontline)Phoenix Wings – http://wings-phoenix.org.ua/ en/about-fund/ ( the appropriate equipment & uniform, personal non-lethal protection (vests, helmets), treatment of wounded soldiers, and repair of the buildings used by the army)Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement – https://www.uwvm.org.ua/? page_id=3437&lang=en (a consolidation of female veterans, amongst other things organizes preparation for actions in case of emergencies and defense situations.Vostok SOS – https://vostok-sos.org/ pidtrymaty/donation/ (raising funds for various needs of the army)
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