British platform NOWNESS, curated by streaming service Takflix, has presented a selection of seven short films by Ukrainian directors that «show contemporary Ukrainian cinema». You can watch the films in the Takflix online cinema
The NOWNESS team describes the selection as follows: «These short films from Ukrainian filmmakers show the contemporary cinematography of Ukraine while capturing the environment and its fluidity. Some films are deeply rooted in the urban surroundings, others speak of ignored topics or offer new interpretations of Ukrainian folklore characters».
What movies are shown there
«In Joy, and only in Joy», Marina Roschina
The story of a young and lonely mother who falls in love with a young musician, but is hesitant to tell him about her son. The relationship develops rapidly, so it becomes more and more difficult to confess. She faces a choice between her personal life and the responsibility for her child.
The NOWNESS team calls «In Joy, and only in Joy» «a vibrant short film about learning to take responsibility set in the environment of modern Kyiv».
«Petrivka-Requiem», Kate Voznytsya
An animated film devoted to the theme of the decommunization of Kyiv. «The film expresses a feeling of disorientation in an environment that has changed only slightly», the description reads.
«Deep Love», Mykyta Lyskov
Lyskov created the frame-by-frame animation «Deep Love» based on the work of Estonians in the 1990s. It is not only the most famous animator’s work, but also the most titled one: from the Ukrainian «Golden Dzyga» to the jury prize at the Beijing Animation Week and the Paris International Animation Film Festival.
The director depicted Dnipro with black humor and strong recognition: the exploding head of the Lenin monument, graffiti with the phone number of Pechnik, and the rhythmic melody of a traffic light.
«The Normal», Diana Gorban and Iryna Hromotska
After a failed party, a girl decides to tell a stranger in the park, whom she met by chance, everything that is troubling her. The girls’ conversation reveals their view of the world.
«The film captures the fleeting feeling of youth and the search for self that comes with it. It is a rumination on loneliness, the meaning of normal and reality itself. It is a philosophical and lyrical film about the beauty of being in the moment, meeting the right person and with them yourself also», the NOWNESS team writes.
«Enter Through the Balcony», Mikhail Volkov and Roman Blazhan
The documentary «Enter Through the Balcony» is «a journey through the decades and a look inside balconies and their owners in cities across Ukraine». The tape explores the architectural phenomenon of Ukrainian makeshift balconies as well as the history of Post-Soviet Ukraine: life, culture, and the relationships between personal and public space in cities.
«The lack of government regulation allows Ukrainians to build any kind of balcony regardless of the style of the building, to the point that people sometimes rebuild them to be bigger than the apartment itself», the film’s description reads.
«Chacho», Vitalii Havura
The film raises two issues at once: ethnic minority communities and LGBTQ+ communities.
The film is about a young man, Yanush, who grew up in a conservative Romani community in a small Ukrainian town. He is about to get married, just what his parents want. However, Yanush is gay and in love with another young man, Pasha. Together they decide to sneak away from the wedding and leave the town.
«Yanush is torn between two worlds — that of his family and their traditions on the one hand and on the other the possibility of love and self acceptance. Could it be possible to have both?».
«Deep Water», Anna Dudko
This fairy-tale-like animation deals with the theme of hidden female sexuality. It is the story of a lonely «body-positive mermaid» who falls in love with a man and realizes that she can no longer live without him.
In March, Takflix released a short documentary of its own production called «Dovecotes of Kyiv».
«Dovecotes of Kyiv» is a film about the people of Kyiv whose «passion is raising pigeons». The plot centers on the stories of Mark, Marat and Hryhorii, pensioners living in the bedroom communities of Kyiv’s Left Bank. Each of them keeps his pigeon house close to home and once a year they gather with other pigeon breeders at the bird markets.
You can read more about the film in our article.