This film has a powerful rythm that you seldom meet. It is not the MTV-style that is so much present in modern documentaries, it is more carried by an expressive associative editing that could be compared to a Russian tradition that again could be said to go back to the principles of Eisenstein. Or to – in some sequences – Armenian director Pelichian and his masterpiece ”Seasons”. Contrary to that one, young Kravchenko, her second documentary it is, uses interviews with characters, who are filmed in ultra close-ups, intercut with images of landscapes, of old women, of wedding rituals, from the country side, and with archive material from war and destruction, and building-up again. Accompanied by a sound design that stresses the tension and vulnerability in the treated theme.
It is Chechnya and it is young people, who got tragically hurt during the Chechen wars, 1994/95-1996 & 1999/2000. They lost – most of the ones in the film – a leg as kids, and they are now part of a one-legged football team that in the film is going back to Grozny after a tournament in Moscow (my guess, it is not being said). Adam, Muslim, Ibrahim, Aslanbek, Isa and others survived ”a childhood in war”.
Red Cross has supported the film and the fact that the youngsters are together and do something, is in itself uplifting. You want to believe that they still have the chance to get a decent life. With her unconventional interpretation of their situation and her energy in filmmaking, through the excellent scenes from the football matches and the beautiful way the young men express themselves… she gives hope. Even if a tragicomic scene in the film reveals that the word ”happiness” does not exist in Chechnyan!
Russia, Ostrov Studio, 2009, 39 mins. Producer: Sergey Miroschnicenko.