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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Russian Film Figures Reply to their Ukrainian Colleagues

This is a post which relates to the previous post relating to the appeal by people from the Ukrainian film world to their Russian colleagues. As well as a number of individual replies from people such as film director Pavel Bardin who wrote as an 'official statement' on his Facebook page

"Dear Ukranian colleagues!
I am ashamed of the lies and propaganda of the Russian pro-state media, ashamed of those soldiers denying their citizenship (this is a reference to Russian soldiers in Crimea who don't even admit their own nationality to keep up the lie that Russian hasn't sent troops there), ashamed of their leaders disowning their own soldiers, ashamed of those fellow citizens and colleagues who support this war.
I am with you: for peace, for truth and for love! "

After this initial response more members of the Russian film world decided to write a collective reply to the Ukrainian appeal. So far it contains 120 names and among them figure the most important directors and scholars in the film world. Feature film directors such as Andrei Proshkin, Andrei Smirnov, Boris Khlebnikov, Alexei Popogrebsky, Vladimir Kott, Alexander Zeldovich, Vladimir Mirzoev and Andrei Stempkovsky as well as Pavel Bardin himself are amongst the signatories; in the documentary world directors such as Vitaly Mansky, Marina Razbezhkina, Alexander Rastorguev, Elena Demidova have signed as well as the festival selector Victoria Belopolskaya. Gary Bardin the well known animation film-maker and father of Pavel Bardin. Pavel Kostomarov perhaps Russia's leading cameraman also signed. The film critics and film scholars are also very well represented. Here signatories include Andrei Plakhov, Evgeny Margolit, Elena Stishova, Anton Dolin, Nina Tsirkun, Zara Abdullaeva, Andrey Shemyakin, Yuri Gladilshchikov, Elena Plakhova, Yuri Bogolmolov and Pyotr Bagrov. Other significant names include the script writer Pavel Finn and actress Yulia Aug.

Here is the text of the letter signed by the names above and by many others:

Dear friends and colleagues!

It is with great pain that we have read your letter and listened to your video address. You are justly bringing to our attention the unprecedented anti-Ukrainian campaign launched by the Russian mass media, and of the mass people’s uprising against the infamous Yanukovich regime.
We share your contempt as to the lies and distorted coverage of the momentous events in the Ukraine, and all the more so we are against Russian military intervention in the Ukraine. There are so many ties that bind us, so that we cannot fall to the botched propaganda. Therefore our answer is laconic and straightforward: Don’t doubt us. We side with the truth, and we are with you! 

The text and full list of names in Russian can be found in this link:

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Appeal to the Russian Film World from their Ukrainian Colleagues.

Below is an appeal by many well-known Ukrainian film makers, scholars and actors to their Russian colleagues. I believe that this appeal  should receive as much coverage as possible. It is important that people in the Ukranian and Russian film worlds (and other cultural spaces) resist the attempts to sow hatred and enmity between them through the insane project of war that has loomed ever larger in recent days. I'll try to blog on how people in the Russian film world have themselves reacted (there have been important interviews with Sokurov and others). It would be a tragedy if this appeal should fall on deaf ears. It really is time that the voice of Russian cinematographers be heard loud and clear against the idea that problems can be resolved militarily.   I'll be adding updates on the facebook page


Dear friends and colleagues!

For many years, entire decades we were together with you, worked with you creating films in a single cultural and cinematic space.
And now something is happening which until only recently would have been impossible to imagine in our worst nightmares: a Russian army on Ukrainian territory, a war that at any moment can become a reality, a spine chilling reality that we will no longer be able to escape from.  
We wish to tell you, friends: it is not possible to understand and accept the motives which have determined this decision by the leadership of the Russian state. In recent years in Ukraine a regime has been established whose members have been involved in the extortion of our national wealth, the destruction of a legal system, and the undermining of morality itself, as well as a disregard of any individual rights. This has ended in the rebellion of a people, a rebellion which led to the fall of Viktor Janukovich and his subsequent flight from the country.
The Kiev Maidan, being a symbol of transformation, brought under its banner people from different nationalities and beliefs. They are united by a trust in the progress of the country, in democratic values, in high culture. Those images which the Russian press try to stamp on the Maidan, as though it consists only of “fascist  rednecks” and “warring nationalists” is no more than a propagandistic myth. Nationalistic and hateful rhetoric never defined the ideology of the Maidan. And it is a complete untruth the assertion that there has been any derogation of rights or persecution of Russian-speaking people. Difficulties of the coming transitional period undoubtedly exist but they have altogether other features.
It is even more bitter to acknowledge that we are the hostages of the ambitions of politicians following their own aims, so distant from the interests of people.
Can it really be so that we are powerless to stop this power, it is really the case that our fraternity should be subject to destruction? We call on you to say “NO” to those plans to divide our people, to sow hatred which can only catastrophically influence our great and glorious art.
We believe in reason, we believe in the power of truth and memory which unite us with the strongest of bonds. 

In the faith of a better future for our peoples,

Sergei Trimbach. Film critic, chairman of the National Union of Ukrainian Filmmakers.
Larisa Kadochnikova, Peoples Artists of Ukraine and Russia.
Kira Muratova, Film Director, Odessa.
Roman Balayan, Film Director
Raisa Nedaskovskaya, Actress
Yaroslav Lupiy, Film Director, Odessa
Sergei Lisetsky, Cameraman.
Valerii Balayan, Film Director, Crimea.
Yuri Garmash , Cameraman.
Viktor Shkurin, Film Director
Valentina Sloboda, Film scholar, Dnepropetrovsk
Oleg Fialko, Film Director
Bogdan Verzhbitskiy, Cameraman.
Oksana Musienko, Film Scholar.
Vyacheslav Krishtofovich, Director.
Evgeniy Golubenko, artist, Odessa.
Dmitry Tomashpolskiy, Film Director.
Vladimir Tikhij, Film Director.
Sergei Bordeniuk, Cameraman
Elena Parfeniuk, Film Scholar.
Alyona Demyanenko, Film Director.
Volodymyr Voytenko, Film Critic
Alik Shpiuk, Film Scholar.
Taras Tkachenko, Film Director.
Valentina Slobodyan, Film Scholar.