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20 July, 2012  ▪  Yaroslav Pidhora-Hviazdovsky

7 Films

to watch from the 3rd Odesa Film Festival


Ukraine, 2011

Director: Oleh Sentsov

Gamer is one of the most unexpected films at the festival. It is a debut feature film of an amateur with a degree in economics and entrepreneur who switched to filmmaking due to his interest in films. Amateurism is visible almost everywhere in the film shot on a digital camera held by hand, yet its documentary authenticity is what appeals to the audience (it mostly involved non-professional actors). Gamer is a story of a boy who plays computer games professionally. He skipped school as he got ready for the world championship. The film took several years to make. Shown at many festivals all over the world, it is now presented at home, in Odesa.

Oxygen Starvation

Ukraine, 1991

Director: Andriy Donchyk

The film is for people who are not familiar with Ukrainian cinematography of the 1990s, among others. Andriy Donchyk made a great film out of the great screenplay by Yuriy Andrukhovych. He presented a detailed and accurate image of the “joy” of serving in the soviet army with its inventive violence of dedovshchina, the abuse of young recruits by older soldiers, with the pathological stupidity of blindly following the army procedures. The film benefits from brilliant acting of Taras Denysenko as private, Viktor Stepanov as ensign and Oleksiy Horbunov as lieutenant. Show during the collapse of the Soviet Union, the film was not presented to a large audience.


Ukraine (USSR), 1930

Director: Oleksandr Dovzhenko

One of the films Ukraine is proud of, the acclaimed Earth is among the 35 films restored by the National Dovzhenko Center this year. Unlike The Potemkin Battleship and Metropolis presented at Odesa film festivals in previous years, the demonstration of the technically upgraded Earth will be a world premier this time. DakhaBrakha will play the music for the film using folklore and ethnic motives in a post-modernistic manner. Thus, classics will be combined with modern times into a legacy of generations.

The Spark of Life/La Chispa De La Vida

Spain-France, 2011

Director:  Alex de la Iglesia

A topical tragic farce about an accident with an unemployed man whose crippled body lures reporters, agents and paparazzi with cameras like vultures.

Caesar Must Die/Cesare Deve Morire

Italy, 2012

Directors: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani

A theater director stages Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in a prison with prisoners as actors. The play flows into life: the prisoners talk to each other in play lines on a walk, in the canteen or in their wards.

Kill Me Please

Belgium, 2010

Director: Olias Barco

Funny, witty and often painfully realistic, the film shows a “clinics” or a private club where those willing to commit suicide are killed in the manner they pay for.


USA, 1998

Director: Tod Solondz

The wound on the body of Solondz, an American filmmaker, brings pain about everything from the lifestyle of average Americans, family problems and teenagers to immigrants and chauvinism.

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