The screening of the feature film ‘Another’s Prayer’ (dir. Akhtem Seitablayev), dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars took place on May 21. The movie is based on the real story of a young Crimean Tatar girl Saide Arifova who saved 88 Jewish children during WWII.
Organizers of the event – the Ukrainian Association in Finland and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Finland.
‘At the beginning of the event, the Ukrainian diplomats told about the tragic events of 1944 in the lives of the Crimean Tatars, as well as the history and outcomes of the Great Purge of 1937-38. Then the guests commemorated the victims of the deportation and terror with a minute of silence’, the Embassy reported.
‘Cinema is the most convenient format for presenting complicated topics. I want to thank Akhtem Seitablayev and Ivanna Diadiura for creating such a strong film as ‘Another’s Prayer’ and letting us show it in Helsinki. Among our guests were Ukrainians, Finns, diplomats from the foreign embassies in Helsinki and a teenager, which makes me especially happy, since our children should know our history’, – said Nataliya Teramae, the organizer of The Ukrainian cinema Club.
The screening was dedicated to Ambassador Andrii Olefirov. Thanks to his support there was a series of Ukrainian cinema club screenings during 2015-2017. We’ve shown the following films about Crimean Tatars – ‘Haytarma’ (followed by a Skype-conference with Jamala, a winner of Eurovision 2016) and ‘Mamay’ (followed by a Skype-conference with Akhtem Seitablayev).
According to official statistics, more than 200 000 Crimean Tatars were deported from Crimea to Central Asia and the Urals by Stalin’s regime in 1944. Unofficially, there were up to 400 000. 46% of the deported died within a couple of years. They died as a result of famine, diseases, or hard labour. Most of the dead were children, women, and the elderly. In 2015, Ukraine recognized the deportation of the Crimean Tatars as a genocide.
Since 2014, Crimean Tatars became a target for pro-Russian people and Russian authorities on the peninsula: some were found murdered, some disappeared. The Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People – executive-representative body – was outlawed by Russia in 2016 and listed as an extremist organization. Human Rights Watch reports about hundreds of property searches, arrests and prosecutions.