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Ukrainian Film Days in Helsinki, 1.10-30.10

This is the sixth edition of the festival. This year our location is Kino Regina cinema in Oodi library. Tickets: 7,50 € / 6 € (KAVI Club and the members of the Ukrainian Association in Finland). Screenings are free of charge with the Residence Permit Card (from Migiri).

In 1922 VUFKU (All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration) was founded. It gave rise to such bright stars as Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Dziga Vertov, Ivan Kavaleridze. National avant-garde cinema was destroyed by the Kremlin, but was reborn in the 1960s as poetic cinema. Unfairly Ukrainian films of the Soviet period were long attributed as ‘Russian’. Today under Moscow’s new attempt to destroy Ukraine, Ukrainian heritage needs special attention. Together with films of the independent period you will explore Ukraine through its last 100 years.

Zemlya / Earth (Oleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930)

Sat, 8.10, 13:00

Ukrainian intertitles, English subtitles

Created by Oleksandr Dovzhenko, Danylo Demutskyi and Vasyl Krychevskyi Jr. ‘Using our Ukrainian material, our social changes I wanted to create a movie which would become well-known all over the world’, – said the director. The movie tells about collectivisation in the late 1920s and is famous for its symbolism. It was censored for nudity and banned as ‘harmful’ 9 days after its release. In 2012 a new soundtrack was created by the band DakhaBrakha, mixing Ukrainian folk and modern music.

The screening will be followed by the video talk given by the representative of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre (UA) on the topic of Ukrainian filmmaking in the 1920-30’s and ‘Earth’. Language – English.  

Entuziazm. Symfoniya Donbasu / Enthusiasm: The Symphony of Donbas (Dziga Vertov, 1930)

Wed, 5.10, 19:00

In Russian, Finnish subtitles

The first Ukrainian sound film. Charlie Chaplin said: ‘I regard Enthusiasm as one of the most exhilarating symphonies I have heard.’ Dziga had an idea to use industrial, routine sounds to create a musical image. His film glorifies the early Soviet era, which inhumanity unfolded in the 1930’s. For Vertov Entuziazm was his last Futurist experiment.

Prometei / Prometheus (Ivan Kavaleridze, 1936)

Tue, 11.10, 20:30

In Russian, English subtitles

Ivan Kavaleridze is one of the main figures of 20th century Ukrainian culture as a filmmaker and sculptor. In Prometei he touches upon the topic of Russian expansionism. The film is inspired by Shevchenko’s famous poem Prometei and the director’s own personal story – his great grandfather was kidnapped from the Caucasus during its subjugation by the Russian empire.

Krynytsya dlya sprahlyh / A Well for the Thirsty (Juri Illjenko, 1965)

Sat, 8.10, 15:30

Thu, 13.10, 20:20

In Ukrainian, Finnish/Swedish subtitles

An unknown gem of the Kyiv poetic school, the film deals with the village as the last place for pure national identity in the russified country. It was Illjenko’s directorial debut after the acclaimed Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. Black and white film shot by static camera and with minimalistic music. Forbidden for allegorical language and dishonoring Soviet reality.

The screening on 8.10 will be followed by the video talk given by the representative of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre (UA) on the topic of Ukrainian filmmaking in the 1960’s and a phenomenon of Kyiv poetic cinema. Language – English. 

Astenitshnyi syndrom / The Asthenic Syndrome (Kira Muratova, 1989)

Sun, 9.10, 13:00

Wed, 12.10, 19:40

In Russian, English subtitles

With her sharp view, Kira Muratova provides a diagnosis of the Soviet system at the dawn of its existence. Personal stories are used to examine moral decline and ideological collapse. Moreover, it was the first Soviet film where swearing (mat) was heard. No surprise that it became a manifesto of that time and received a Special Jury Prize at Berlinale.

The screening on 9.10 will be followed by the video talk given by the representative of the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre (UA) on the topic of the Soviet period of ‘perebudova’ in the 1980’s and its influence on the film industry. Language – English. 

Kysnevyi holod / Oxygen Starvation (Andrii Dontshyk, 1992)

Tue, 18.10, 18:45

Thu, 20.10, 19:00

In Ukrainian / Russian, English subtitles

Violence, humiliation, and decline – this describes the Soviet army, pictured by Andrii Donchyk in his debut full-length film. The screenplay is based on his personal experience as well as on the story of now acclaimed Ukrainian author Yurii Andrukhovych. The film was produced during the period of the USSR’s collapse and became one of the first privately financed Ukrainian films.  

Mamai (Oles Sanin, 2003)

Wed, 19.10, 18:45

Sun, 23.10, 18:00

In Ukrainian, English subtitles

As the director Sanin stated, his aim was to help people eliminate stereotypes and the fear of other ethnos. It is a picturesque drama based on Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar folk epics. Mamai is the personification of the free spirit of the Cossacks, abolished by Russian empress Ekaterina II. Pictures of him riding a horse and playing the musical instrument kobza were very popular in Ukrainian tradition.

Plemya / The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, 2014)

Tue, 25.10, 19:00

Wed, 29.10, 19:00

This is a new vision of silent movies – there is sound but no speech as the story takes place in a boarding school for deaf and mute children. It deals with an institutional system of organized crime, robbery and prostitution. ‘The Tribe’ was awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and won European Discovery at European Film Awards.

The screening on 29.10 will be followed by the Q&A session with the film director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. Language – English. 

Tsenzorka / 107 Mothers (Peter Kerekes, SK/CZ/UA 2021)

Tue, 4.10, 17:00

Sun, 30.10, 18:35

In Russian, English / Finnish subtitles

How to be a mom in a prison? Slovakian film director Peter Kerekes chose a jailhouse in Odesa, Ukraine to create a touching story of surviving in captivity. In 2021 ‘107 Mothers’ received the Venice Horizons Award for its screenplay and won best film at the Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema. This is one of the many examples of successful co-production involving Ukrainian filmmakers.

The program is arranged in cooperation between National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI), Ukrainian Film Days (Ukrainian Association in Finland’s project) and Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre. Partners: Arts Promotion Centre Finland TAIKE, Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Finland and Iceland.