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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Kyiv Kino
The annual Evenings of French Film festival rolls into town on 23 January for a week of fabulous French cinema. With five flicks up for grabs, including Best Days Ahead, On My Way, 9 Month Stretch, A Castle in Italy, and Grand Central, we talk to Rebecca Zlotowski, director of Grand Central, to get a feel for what you can expect this week.

The media is tasked with reporting facts in a fair, balanced and unbiased way. Occasionally the tables are turned and the spotlight turns back on the messengers. Thats the point of Kinomedia a non-profit short film festival about the media. Whats On looks at the portrayal of newsmen and women both here and abroad on film.

The Brits are known for their wry sense of humour, their propensity to drink tea and their cucumber sandwiches. With some incredible directors coming out of the UK in recent decades, filmmaking can be added to that list. So pack a lunch of cucumber sandwiches, with or without the crusts, a carafe of chai and get down to one of the many fabulous examples of British cinematography here in Kyiv this week.

Its a cinema event that takes place at about this time every year, gathering hundreds of films from across the world. Promoting young, professional cinema, the best in student, short film and feature films are at Ukraines doorstep starting this week.

The Manhattan Short Film Festivals tagline reads One World, One Week, One Festival. Its an apt description, the festivals films not only entertain a global audience but are judged by them as well and for the 7th time that includes Kyiv. Running throughout this week in cinemas across Kyiv this is one not to be missed.

A couple frolic in Kyivs Park of Eternal Glory (Park Vichnoi Slavy) on a balmy early summer evening, the golden light of the setting sun flickers through trees, playing on their faces. Behind them storm clouds roll across the sky and a view of the Dnipro, its bridges and the left bank pan out into the distance. This is a couple lost in each other, oblivious to the world around them. Except they arent alone, they have a large audience, which doesnt avert its eyes or afford them any privacy. Suddenly, a cry of snyato (cut) and the couple break away from each other.

Samsara is a film that screams loudly, despite the fact that not a single word is spoken. Its a journey around the world, showing the immense beauty and the grotesque horrors of humanity, interspersed with stunning natural landscapes and the fallout of natural disaster. The non-narrative documentary film directed by Ron Fricke and produced by Mark Magidson was filmed for more than four years (from 2007 to 2011).

Six days, five films, and from a country not usually noted for its contribution to the film industry. Yet Hungarys role in the cinematic world carries a pedigree both inside and outside the countrys borders. Hungarians played a huge role in movies on both sides of the Atlantic take William Fox, the founder of Fox Studios, Adolph Zukor, who established Paramount Pictures, or Alexander Korda, who played a leading role in starting Britains film industry. Cinemas Golden Age may be in the past but Hungarys contribution to the world of film continues and the best will be showcased in Kyiv this coming week.

Something terrible happened in my life that changed everything... Those are the words lead-character Sade utters at the start of the Feathered Dreams trailer and they resonate with emotion. What follows is a backing track featuring the rapid plucking of strings, and scenes of her being pursued by neo-Nazi skinheads in Kyiv, before a stranger intervenes...Drama, romance, danger, humour and ultimately happiness...on the face of it this movie has it all. Feathered Dreams has all the makings of an emotional cinematic roller coaster.

A five-day festival of shorts from around the globe awaits this week with the Kyiv International Short Film Festival, better known by its rather long acronym KISFF. Want to know more about Edmond the donkey or why Attack of the Brainsucker is dubbed a hilarious thriller? Youll have to get tickets.
According to organisers, the Kyiv International Short Film Festival is bringing in more 200-world shorts.


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Ukraine Truth
Rights We Didnt Know We Had

Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


Kyiv Culture

Pulling Strings
Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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