This Ukraine Will never Stop
All of Europe is still in shock from the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Images we used to see only in the war documentaries of the last century or in short news fragments from faraway countries have suddenly become an everyday reality, a reality in colour and filmed in high quality, far different from the black and white images from archives aged by time that we used to associate with the war. Now everything is high-definition: the tanks crushing dead bodies, the cities turned to dust, the tears sliding on the cheeks of men and women left without a home, as well as without their loved ones. Many of these images are images we will never be able to forget. Nor should we forget them.
While we already had Ukrainian films in our selection, the dangers of war have made us even more aware of the culture of our neighbours that is now under attack and at risk of disappearing. Given the urgency of this matter, our wish was to support, however we can, the voices of Ukrainian authors who have put their cameras aside and are now in the trenches, with weapons in their hands or helping the injured, each contributing as much as they can to defending their country. Many of them are living an existence that is beyond recognition, that none of us could ever be prepared for.
Therefore, in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, in support of their freedom and sovereignty, we would like to take a moment to remember Ukraine - as it used to be before destruction - and everything that we are all losing through their losses as well. In this focus we highlight a few filmmakers who have captured Ukraine before the recent Russian invasion, recording the essence of a strong and particular culture, but also touching on the conflicts that had already been happening in the country and which have now blown up. In “Boney Piles” we see children playing in an apocalyptic landscape of an Eastern Ukrainian town affected by the war. “This Rain Will Never Stop” follows refugees fleeing from the Syrian Civil War, only to reach the armed conflicts in Ukraine, their receiving country, thus proving that war is never an isolated issue and should be treated as a pandemic we are globally responsible for. Even over “Plai. A Mountain Path” - set in a quiet, green village in the Carpathian Mountains - hovers a subtle sense of threat, as the characters living in such a bucolic communion with nature also bear the visible and invisible wounds of war.