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¹7 (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 EuroMaidan’s three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the country’s 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

Shooting Messenger

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. That’s the point of Kinomedia – a non-profit short film festival about the media. What’s On looks at the portrayal of newsmen and women both here and abroad on film.

Kinomedia has focused on the work of the fourth estate since 2010, inviting both amateur and professional filmmakers to address mass media in cinema. Open to Ukrainian filmmakers internationally, the festival features animated, documentary, art, and experimental films up to 20 minutes long. Presided over by a jury of journalists, filmmakers and critics, the winners in each category receive 3,000 hryvnias while the grand prix winner walks off with 6,000 hryvnias. There is an additional People’s Choice Award voted for by cinemagoers at public screenings and the festival’s finals. The efforts of these young filmmakers contribute to the wealth of movies produced about media. What’s On takes a closer look at mass media through the lenses of young Kinomedia filmmakers and offers a couple of internationally recognised media-based flicks in comparison.

Pershiy Krok (First Step), (2011, UA – feature film nomination)
Where Edward Murrow in Good Night & Good Luck refused to step back from his viewpoint, the protagonist in this short film Pershiy Krok does just that, literally. Someone decides that walking backwards saves more energy and in this world of mass consumption, suddenly everyone is doing it, well almost everyone. A journalist interviews a man who was opposed to the idea but convinces him to be like everybody else, that it only takes the first step. In an additional plot line, the director traces peculiar similarities between today’s world and different periods in history. “Today a human is killed neither physically nor morally. Everyone feels so insignificant that they actually disappear. But don’t give up...just ask more questions.”

Spravzhni Novyny (Real News), (2011, UA – documentary nomination winner)
The directors of this short film take a vox populae approach hitting the streets asking every passer-by “What’s news?” Quite often journalists are accused of not being objective enough or choosing bad topics to cover. Spravzhni Novyny proves this wrong, bringing the truth to the screen.

Posmsta (Revenge), (2011, UA – feature film nomination, People’s Choice prize)
The director takes quite a satirical approach to illustrate how much people are fed up with TV’s mass-produced content. But how can you get revenge? The main character comes up with a “flushing” design for his TV-set.

Jak Tse Bulo (How it Was), (2011, UA – cartoon nomination winner, Grand Prix)
Reporters constantly look to tell the truth when gathering information for future publication or broadcast. But the “truth” is what you believe and one person’s “truth” may be different to another’s. Looking at three takes of the same story, a reporter sees how varied coverage is of one situation, and asks where is the objectivity?

Are public relations campaigns in the rest of the world any better than here in Ukraine? Check out these media-related flicks filmed in various parts of the word and decide for yourself.
Good Night and Good Luck (2005, US)
Set in 1953, during the early days of television broadcast journalism, this film tells the story of outstanding CBS anchor Edward Murrow and his stance against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s rooting out of supposed communists and communist sympathisers. “Good night and good luck” is the final line of his epic speech before leaving CBS. “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. Good night, and good luck.”

Videocracy (2009, SE, IT, UK, DK, FI)
The door to objectivity is closed when the prime minister of a country widens his scope of power to controlling television. This documentary film takes a close look at “Berlusconismo” – the phenomenon of the influence Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had over television in Italy. A song from Berlusconi’s election campaign Thank God for Silvio used as a soundtrack to the film only proves that here democracy is substituted for “videocracy”.

All the President’s Men (1976, US)
While researching a story about a botched 1972 burglary of Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex, Washington Post reporters/rivals Woodward (Robert Redford) and Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) stumble on a possible connection between the burglars and a White House staffer. Woodward and Bernstein “follow the money” all the way to the top of the Nixon administration. Based on Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's coverage of the Watergate scandal.

Kinomedia Festival
Short-film festival about media impact
13 December
Chasopys (L’va Tolstoho 3)
www.kinomedia.in.ua

by Olga German

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didn’t 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 don’t 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 – children’s 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. What’s 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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