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Day and night in Ukraine: two brief discoveries

Maskirovka / Leninopad
Two of the most distinctive and notable premieres in Rotterdam concerned Ukraine. One is played in very different environments, both pastoral, neutral and urban, while the other is conducted urban.

Size is not everything. As this is being written, Ukrainian super-featherweight boxer Vasil Lomaschenko, with all his 60 kilos and 166 cm, is considered one of the world's two or three largest active boxers. As in boxing, so also in the film: Like Lomashenko, short films – at their best – strike both fast and hard, slam far beyond what weight should indicate, and are often more rewarding and satisfying than films of conventional length. This is especially true of experimental films, but also non-fiction.

An overview of European documentaries for the last couple of years should include outstanding examples such as Gabriel Abrantes' A Brief History of Princess X (2016, 7 minutes), Arthur Summereders The French Road: Detroit MI (2015, 7 minutes), Mehdi Ahoudig and Anna Salzbergs We'll go to Neuilly, Inshallah (2015, 19 minutes), Lawrence Abu Hamdans Rubber Coated Steel (2017, 21 minutes), Aline Magrez ' No'i (2016, 21 minutes), Isabel Pagliais Isabella Morra (2015, 22 minutes) and Igor Bezinović ' Veruda: A Film About Bojan (2015, 34 minutes) – to name just a handful. If it does not, the overview appears as one-sided.

The two films present Ukraine in original, informative and very personal ways.

The ability of short documentaries to dazzle and delight was demonstrated in abundance. . .

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Neil Young
Young is a regular film critic for Modern Times Review.

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