Alina Gorvola: No Obvious Signs

Oksana Yakobava, major in the Ukrainian army, was at war from 2014-17. Her job was to report on the dead soldiers: identity, how death occurred, how many bullets in the body, was there any torture, any obvious signs, contact and information to family. Tough task, to say it with an understatement.

We viewers meet her, when she is trying to recover from the war experiences. She has had a breakdown, she is being treated for a couple of months with physical training and by a psychotherapist. She is wounded, she is trying to wash away images that stay in her head. As she has been close to atrocities. Warm baths, massage, conversations, will it go away?

The film team has been with her and they go with her, when she returns to the war zone to resign from her position, and they follow her on a tour in the metro one month later. She still suffers, she listens to prayers from her cell phone, it seems like hell for her to be in the street as well.

It is a hard story, it is well made, the film team has the confidence of the protagonist, it makes an impression, it is truthful in all its sadness.

Ukraine, 2017, 64 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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