Ukranian Docu/Space

The photo is by Ukranian photographer and filmmaker Alexander Glyadyelov, whose exhibition was arranged during the 2015 DocuDays UA festival in Kiev. About him is made a 6 mins. short documentary with interview and examples from his work. Title “You see, My Brother”, the title of the exhibition as well.

The film is part of an “Online Cinema House which presents documentary films on human rights in Ukraine.” Let me quote some interesting words about the photographer, who also sees “war and maidan as events of the same patterns:

”Glyadyelov still makes films the way they made films half a century ago. He shoots his films in black-and-white and uses analog video cameras with manual focus, a mechanical shutter system and no burst mode. It seems as if these details are strictly technical, but it makes his works conceptually different from the stream of images we see every day. It is almost impossible to film like that in the middle of a fight. That is why the cameraman has to scan what is going on during pauses. In other words, he films not death, but life. Then he develops his films and makes photographic prints manually; that takes time. You cannot shoot news broadcasts this way – that’s why the cameraman has to gaze at non-transitory things.”

Back to the Docu/Space that includes two handful of films, many of them with English subtitles. The unstoppable team behind the festival launches the site and it gives you a good chance to see behind the news and get portraits of people, who fight for change:

“It is the first online cinema house in Ukraine, which presents documentary films on human rights. All the movies are about Ukrainians and filmed in Ukraine with the support of different NGOs in association with International Documentary Human Rights Film Festival Docudays UA. The characters are ordinary people who try to change the life in their country for the better. They go towards their aim insistently overcoming the external difficulties… Characters of the movies are united by pursuing justice, making good causes and acknowledging that the state starts from people…” 

Director and cameraman Roman Bondarchuk made the short documentary about the photographer and also “Roma Dream” that has been reviewed on this site before. And has been behind the realization of the project in general. Another film one I saw, “Peace”, 19 mins. long, made by Sergey Lysenko, gives a portrait of a patriot, whose answer to the question what he would ask Putin about if he met him was: “Nothing, I would do…”. Pause. “I would kill him”. Mir (Myroslav) – quoting from the DocuSpace site “has established a volunteer foundation in Kiev… and every other week he brings to the Anti-Terrorist operation zone food, uniforms, night vision googles, and other goods needed by the military. Between his trips he is a professional actor and acting teacher, director of dance numbers at SBT TV-channel on the project “So you think You can Dance”. Interesting, charismatic and you don’t always have to like characters in a film…

In other words: DocuSpace to be recommended.

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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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