Piotr Pawlus & Tomasz Wolski
Poland, Germany | 2023 | 83 min
Languages : Ukrainian, Russian, English
Subtitles : English, French
A few months after the start of the Russian invasion, Piotr Pawlus and Tomasz Wolski (1970, VdR 2021) decide to depict the conflict from a distance. More sociological than individual, In Ukraine calmly and forcefully captures the tragedy and the bravery of people and the futility and cruelty of war, while outlining the new normality of a besieged state, in all its absurdity.
How can we talk about war, its cruelty and its barbarity, in an era when the media reports on events in real time? Piotr Pawlus and Tomasz Wolski – who previously presented at Visions du Réel his masterpiece 1970 (Jury Prize 2021), as well as a medium-length film the previous year – have opted for an anti-dramatic approach. Through a series of still frames shot at a distance, they paint a collective portrait, more sociological than individual: people posing next to abandoned tanks like tourists, checkpoints, life underground, distribution of food and children playing war. Some of the film’s most eloquent and rare sequences reveal a tragic mix of routine and anxiety, as the sound of bombings break up the banality of everyday life. The patient accumulation of these situations and precise formal choices, associated with a keen sense of space and editing (Wolski is known for his editing work on Sergei Loznitsa’s The Kiev Trial), shows the full extent of the collective resistance to the Russian attack, the tragedy and the bravery of the people, and the futility of war.
In Ukraine, 2023
The Clinic, 2006
In Ukraine, 2023