Volcano + ScreenTalk

A military interpreter becomes stranded in a small southern Ukrainian steppe town in Roman Bondarchuk’s brilliant, surreal black comedy.

Set in the visually astonishing borderlands of Southern Ukraine, this multi award-winning dark comedy stars Serhiy Stepansky as city boy Lukas, an interpreter from the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Having been abandoned by his co-workers, Lukas seeks shelter with Vova (Viktor Zhdanov), a colourful local. Lukas gradually sheds his preconceptions about rural life and finds a new, unexpected happiness in this wild corner of Ukraine.

From its stunning opening visual to its painterly images of the Ukrainian countryside, Volcano is a unique, Kafkaesque love letter to a region seldom explored in cinema. Roman Bondarchuk’s fiction debut is a triumph with hints of David Lynch’s surrealism and Emir Kusturica’s bawdiness – though the vision is very much Bondarchuk’s own.

This screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk.

“I discovered the unique universe of the south Ukrainian steppe through my wife’s uncle, Vova, who lived there and who was constantly coming up with crazy business ideas. Once, he suggested to dig up the bones from German soldiers from the Second World War in his garden and sell them to the relatives in Germany. This seemed so absurd to me that I decided to follow him with a camera to get a better understanding of his life and the area where he lived.

In this deserted land, during a very dramatic moment of history in my country, I found a wild and forgotten place of anarchy; a new provincial order, where people live their own lives, some of them even without any documents or connection to the state. Living in the city, it is hard to imagine a magical place like this, where people still see mirages, with local feudals, private security groups on watermelon fields and checkpoints in the middle of nowhere exists.

I wanted to find out why people stay there, what keeps them from leaving? And is it possible to find yourself or at least survive there?” – Director’s statement.

London + ScreenTalk

Monday 1 July 2019

6:10

Barbican Centre

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My Friend The Polish Girl – Preview

dirs. Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek

My Friend the Polish Girl borrows from cinéma vérité and video bloggers to create a rare naturalism in style and performance. The demanding actor’s process and meticulously scripted dialogue result in a film that watches as an experimental documentary told through the eyes (and lens) of amateur filmmaker Katie: an American rich kid following Alicja, an erratic unemployed Polish actress. Set in a post-Brexit-vote London, Katie’s colonising, disruptive presence in Alicja’s life mirrors the treatment of migrants in the UK: Welcomed, used, then discarded. A raw, sexual, and visually brash fiction documentary.

 

★★★★ ‘One of the most thoughtful and stimulating films of the year’ The Movie Waffler

★★★★ ‘Treads the line between film forms with quite some accomplishment, and as such it’s often fascinating” The Digital Fix

‘The film offers a very smart reflection on the complex, slippery dynamic between documentary-maker and subject that is witty, disturbing, playful and formally fresh, and that constantly surprises the viewer’ Pop Matters

Manchester Preview

Wednesday 22 May 2019

20:40

HOME Manchester

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