Iryna Tsilyk: The Earth is Blue Like an Orange

It is an emotional journey that director and writer Iryna Tsilyk takes the viewer on. For 74 minutes. One full of beauty. Very much because of the mother in the film, Anna, the protagonist, whose face expresses, what it means to live in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine with four children, and her mother. You see her alone in the kitchen, worried, in a melancholic mood, that is understandable on the background of the war – she decided to stay with the family; they could have moved. You see her smilingly telling one of her small boys how to pull out a rock tooth! You see her fighting with the stove to make the house warm. You see her taking the train with one of her daughters, Myroslava, who wishes to study cinematography. They come to an eximanation – in Kiev it must be – the girl thinks she failed. They get a phone call, she did not fail, daughter and mother cries of happiness. So did this viewer!

The house of the family is full of life with stairs to the cellar, where they go 


down, when the bombing is close. Cats are all over, a turtle is occupying the sink, a house that is also the location for a film to be shot, realised by Anna and her two daughters Myroslava and Nastia with the smaller boys, the grandmother and an aunt to be among the characters. A film in the film. The narrative. You see the preparations for the shoot, hard discussions at the table on scenes, the theme is like “how to live in a war zone”, and we are invited to the premiere, where Iryna Tsilyk with her cameraperson puts the focus on the faces of the viewers, emotions again. “It’s a film about our family and our city”, says the mother to the audience at the premiere. And thus also to us, who through the yes of Iryna Tsilyk have seen a film about a family and a city. It’s all there. The devastated buildings with holes from rockets, the lack of… well everything that we take for granted. Observed with respect and love for Life. And a feeling for details like when Myroslava graduates from school, dressed wonderfully for the occasion. Like when one of the boys plays the accordion accompanied by his singing KukKuk, or the other boy in the beginning of the film in the ”talking to the camera” sequence does not know what to say… Like when, I could go on. Lovely.

Irina Tsilyk has published books with her poems, translated to several languages. And she knows Paul Eluard, from him comes the title. Poetic title for a poetic film.

The film won an award at the Sundance Festival for directing. It goes now to the Berlinale and a lot of other festivals, I am sure.

Below, please find a link to an interview with the director made by one of the supporters of the film, Current Time TV.

Ukraine/ Lithuania, 2020, 74 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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