Interview with Ukrainian filmmaker Valentyn Vasyanovych: The horrors of recent warfare in Eastern Europe come to life on the display

New Europe spoke with Ukrainian director Valentyn Vasyanovych, who was again on the Venice Film Festival, along with his new movie Reflection. Like his 2019 drama, Atlantis, which received Best Picture within the Horizons part and was nominated for an Oscar in 2020, Reflection brings the horrors of the continuing Russian-Ukrainian battle proper to the ft of the viewers.

While Atlantis was set in 2025, after the imagined finish of the battle, his newest film is ready in 2014, through the first 12 months of the battle. Ukrainian surgeon Sergey (Roman Lutsky) is searching for work to deal with his daughter’s issues and finds life tough when he spends time along with his daughter, his ex-wife and new companion. He is captured by Russian navy forces in Ukraine’s jap Donbass area, the place he’s pressured to help his kidnappers and witness brutal torture and humiliation.

New Europe (NE): Should a director clarify his movie to the viewers or not?

Valentyn Vasyanovych (VV): I imagine {that a} director ought to create a dialogue with the viewers concerning the movie, however not clarify it. Instead, a director to share ideas and opinions and hearken to what actually comes from exterior.

NE: Why did you select to painting Ukraine’s battle with Russia and the instances of torture which have occurred through the battle?

VV: In the up to date world, during which we’ve an excessive amount of data, “new” information simply turns into “old” information. It is tough to maintain the general public’s consideration on something, even a battle. The battle in Ukraine has been occurring for a few years now, however nobody had ever talked about torture. I believe it’s absurd that in Europe these inhuman tortures are nonetheless taking place and are almost extra atrocious than the battle itself. We now not discuss concerning the battle as a result of it has been there for a few years, however it’s a responsibility to inform the general public about torture.

NE: Did the UN handle to intervene? Has something occurred for the reason that instances of torture have turn out to be identified to the general public? How is it doable that nothing has been executed but?

VV: It could be very tough for me to simply accept that there’s nonetheless torture occurring in Europe and that nothing will be executed. The solely resolution to that is to finish the battle, however what can we do individually? That territory is occupied and nobody can face or pressure the Russian secret providers to cease it.

NE: Were you ever afraid to inform this story and present torture on this approach?

VV: Personally, I’m not afraid, in any other case I wouldn’t have instructed it. But I do know that there are a lot of Russian brokers in Ukraine and I do know that something can occur. Many reporters have been caught for this very cause. I believe it’s my mission to inform the world about these tortures. I believe there’s a option to finish the battle. We ought to cease the entire banking system that runs Russia, and every part associated to uncooked supplies (i.e. gasoline, oil), however it’s completely unattainable to achieve.

NE: Regarding the scenes chosen for the movie, did you need to create scenes much like a portray to say that historical past repeats itself? The {photograph} was almost harking back to a portray by Caravaggio.

VV: No, I wasn’t interested by the repetition of historical past, however it’s true that I labored on the pictures as in the event that they had been work to raised render the environment. When you characterize such a merciless theme as torture, in a creative approach, it’s important to convey that sense of oppression and violence. Aesthetically, I wished some type of distance to make it tolerable for the general public, regardless of its violence.

NE: Was this distance that’s created within the movie in a position to present torture as it’s? Because it truly feels a lot stronger and more durable to bear

VV: I favor to present an entire image of the scene as a result of I would like the viewer to be attentive to each element. I favor to assemble the scene as if it had been a mosaic to be constructed. It is as much as the sensitivity of the person viewer to seek out the small print that strike them essentially the most. So, it is determined by the sensitivity of whoever is watching.

NE: In basic, colours are used to present a very oppressive environment. You all the time used it as a language in your movies. Were you impressed by somebody?

VV: I like selecting the best location as a result of I used to be a director of images some years in the past and that’s what I like to do essentially the most. You can’t shoot a drama in a spot full of lovely colours. The proper location is all the time an excellent begin for a film.

NE: Was the pigeon story within the movie true? What did it imply?

VV: Yes, the pigeon story was true, and it occurred whereas I used to be with my household. A pigeon crashed into our window and this actually affected my daughter, who began asking me a complete sequence of questions on life and dying. The picture that the pigeon left on the window was very specific, it seemed like that of a small fallen angel. There had been feathers and blood left, that impressed me for the title of the movie. In follow, the pigeon thought he was flying within the sky and as a substitute crashed into a mirrored image of it, which is what occurs to us after we dream of one thing or idealize it after which we collide with the truth of issues.