Everything has a beginning…

Hello People! Welcome-Welcome to the first post! My name is Daria or Dasha, I myself am from Ukraine, from the picturesque city Kiev, which I had to leave in order to go to study to the small safe island in Mediterranean Sea named Cyprus. For a long time I had been struggling that I am far away from the homeland and I was missing out on something greatly important; eventually I felt more like a tourist and an outsider coming (back) there, which also made me miss my home and feel indecisive sadness every time I was thinking of it. Nevertheless this fortunate life circumstance gave me the opportunity to look at my homeland from the third person’s perspective and thus to be able to see some things differently from those ones who live there permanently. I got this special bird’s-eye overview not only on events but on arts as well. One of the arts I broadly admire is Cinema, and it is quite clear that not everyone in Western world watched products of Ukrainian cinematography or even heard about their existence. So I would like to get into the honest objective and subjective analysis of my motherhood cinematography. The subject is pretty touchy, especially in the regard of the events of past 5 years, but I hope for the engaging discussion and contribution, underlining a mutual respect as well as the ability ‘to agree to disagree’. More details you can check in the section ABOUT.

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Cinema is known to be one of the spaces of art for the expression of emotions, thoughts, perspectives or beliefs. For me, it is a reflection of the world, which has right to be fully faithful as well as to be deformed considering the reality of the person whose perspective is reflected in this so-called ‘mirror’. In any way you look at it, it is a way to deliver a story. That is also a way to affect people, changing their opinions and ‘universal’ beliefs, which is one of the reasons why movie niche cannot always be apolitical and appeal to every single viewer.

Every country has own history and examples of cinematography, and Ukraine is not an exception, however, not many Ukrainians are even familiar with it. Not long after brothers Lumiere shocked the world with their The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station in 1895/96, Ukrainian cinematography started its development as well; moreover there are convictions that the similar to the Lumiere’s one, the filming device was invented in 1893 in Odessa, and consequently the first documentaries were filmed (EuroChannel). It gave to the world such talented directors as Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Dzyha Vertov, Serhiy Paradzhanov, Kira Muratova, Larysa Shepitko, Serhiy Bondarchuk, Leonid Bykov, Yuriy Illienko, Leonid Osyka etc.; some successful and popular actors and actresses, as Bohdan Stupka, Sergei Makovetsky, Mike Mazurki, Natalie Wood, Danny Kaye, Jack Palance, Milla Jovovich, Olga Kurylenko, Natalie Burn, Nikki Benz, David Vadim, Mila Kunis etc in fact have something in common – Ukrainian roots.

Independence of the country in 1991 gave the beginning for the independent Ukrainian cinematography, but that does not mean that it automatically excludes the history of cinematography before the event, because as was said not once, one cannot build the future without remembering the past. In fact “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” claims Spanish-American philosopher George Santayana once again supporting the statement above.

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Ukrainian cinematography during the time of independence

According to the picture above there are about 1266 Ukrainian films produced after the independence, however I am sure that for the today date there is more than that. The legacy includes Tribe, The Guide, Orange Love, Taras Bulba, Haytarma, Unforgotten Shadows, Firecrosser etc. Moreover it is enriched by the Ukrainian movies created before the 1991, such as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Earth, Stone Cross, Arsenal, White Bird with Black Mark, Babylon XX, Famine-33, Tiger Catchers, Stolen Hapiness etc. and etc., which drastically raise already provided numbers. And this is without taking in account all Ukrainian short films which brought worldwide fame through the various International and Ukrainian film festivals.

Another important moment is a language of movies. One would wonder, if it is a Ukrainian movie it supposedly should be in Ukrainian language only. But in fact Ukrainian used as much as Russian, which partially contributed to the cultural and linguistic richness of future generations of Ukrainians, who are bilingual, being able to use the advantage of speaking freely both Ukrainian and Russian languages. Interestingly, there also are Ukrainian series where characters talk to each other in both Ukrainian and Russian languages, such as Do Not Promise, Clan of Jewelers, The Village for a Million, Immortelle, A Servant of the People etc. There is more to add saying that there are movies of Ukrainian production made in English, such as Sappho which is filmed in English purely, The Guide and Battle for Sevastopol (originally Indestructible) which are made in three languages mentioned above; and one cannot deny its usefulness. 😉 Moreover, the film The Nest of the Turtledove presets Ukrainian along with Italian and Haytarma – Russian along with Crimean Tatar languages. The list is to be continued…

The access and availability online could appear a bit problematic, but nowadays’ age of pirating and free rendering through the internet allows us to watch movies without obstacles; one could even find them easily on YouTube with subs and even dubs translation.

I expect to challenge myself for at least 13 Ukrainian filmed masterpieces and by the end to formulate my own list ‘The Top-best Ukrainian films to watch’ relying on the basis of the movies discussed.

So, I hope, Cinema interests You as much as it does interest me, that might be one of the reasons You finished reading this post 😉 Let’s try to enjoy our time and art travelling!

Stay in touch!

Yours faithfully,

D.

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