Daniel Asadi Faezi & Mila Zhluktenko
Germany, Ukraine | 2023 | 17 min
International Premiere
Languages : Ukrainian, Russian
Subtitles : French, English

Children draw on the ground with chalk. They are not playing hopscotch, but writing messages in Ukrainian: “Putin, stop killing people”. With a subtle sense of framing, Daniel Asadi Faezi & Mila Zhluktenko gently film Ukrainian child refugees as they become aware of the war while holding onto their innocence. Our gaze, too, “wakes up in silence”.

The film starts with a shot of a wall with a number on it, as if we were in front of a house. A child looking out of a window seems to yearn to go outside to play. In the courtyard, children are playing together, drawing on the ground with chalk. They are not playing hopscotch, but writing slogans in Ukrainian: "Putin, stop killing people". Later, another shot of a wall, with a similar number on it. The similarity alerts us to the military quality of the place. Gradually, the editing reveals that we are indeed in a former military camp in Germany. 200 children and mothers have fled the war in Ukraine to find refuge in these barracks. The filmmakers try to become a part of their daily lives, always combining the filming with a playful aspect, or shooting during the school holidays to relieve the parents. By going to the cinema with the children, helping the parents with administrative procedures, translating, or communicating with the authorities, they always tried to make the film shoot into a participatory and empowering project. In this way, with a subtle sense of framing, narration, music, and use of 16mm, the filmmakers gently film the children’s growing awareness of the war, without losing sight of their innocence. Our gaze, too, “wakes up in silence”.

Charlotte Serrand

Daniel Asadi Faezi
waking up in silence, 2023 
Aralkum, 2022 
Slowly Forgetting Your Faces, 2021
Where we Used to Swim, 2019
The Absence of Apricots, 2018
In Search of, 2017
Observation of Hawks in The Sky, 2016
Kids of Tehran, 2016
Arefi, The Shepherd, 2013
Mila Zhluktenko
waking up in silence, 2023 
Aralkum, 2022 
Opera Glasses, 2019
Find Fix Finish, 2017 
I Love my #Hairlegs, 2017 


Tobias Blickle
Daniel Asadi FaeziAndrew Mottl
Mila ZhluktenkoDaniel Asadi Faezi
Mila ZhluktenkoLotas FilmDaniel Asadi FaeziDaniel Asadi FaeziAndrii KotliarBABYLON13
Sales contact
Sanne JehoulSquare Eyesinfo@squareeyesfilm.com

International Medium Length & Short Film Competition

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