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A lively echo from a war zone 

Long Echo
Regissør: Lukasz Lakomy Veronika Glasunowa
(Tyskland)

Following a Tanzanian taxi driver in a small town in Donetsk province, Ukraine, Long Echo presents a new view of a story that has virtually disappeared from daily news reports in European media.

(THIS ARTICLE IS ONLY MACHINE TRANSLATED by Google from Norwegian)

Frank, a Tanzanian taxi driver who came to the USSR to study, is just one of the colorful characters woven into the Long Echo (2017) – Lukasz Lakomy and Veronika Glasunova's moving portrait of life in a small Ukrainian town at the edge of a war zone.

Frank is an outsider, and his view of the history and contemporary of Dobropolje – a small Russian-speaking mining town in eastern Ukraine about 70 kilometers from the front line of the country's devastating civil war – creates a narrative backbone of the film. Despite the many tragic and heartbreaking stories the characters reveal, it manages to create a bright, lyrical and enduring positive atmosphere.

As part of a collection of Ukrainian and European-produced documentaries focusing on a destructive conflict that is now entering its fourth year, brings Long Echo a new perspective on a story that has almost disappeared from the daily news reports in European media.

Lively characters

The title of the film is taken from the sad and poetic lyrics of a Russian folk song that is played along with the scrolling text. Long Echo offers many layers of meaning – from the distant roar of pomegranate, to the durable nostalgia of the Soviet Union among the elderly residents of the well-kept small apartment blocks of concrete. These constitute the city founded in 1900 to extract the rich coal reserves under the green meadows.

In a balanced, twisted film, we are introduced to a selection of characters who are all – to a greater or lesser extent – engagingly eccentric. 

In an opening sequence in the film, we meet Tatjana Aleksandrovna, who runs a club for singles. She has provided 28 successful couple formations, and introduces viewers to the city's history. Marvelous little footnotes follow ,: The city has a place in the Guinness Books of Records for having Europe's shortest tram line (opened in...

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Nick Holdsworth
Holdsworth is a writer, journalist and filmmaker.

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