This film that almost never existed, “shows the life that continues under the bombs” and compiles the images shot by the Lithuanian documentary filmmaker, according to the terms of the Festival. Mantas Kvedaravicius died at the end of March in a bombardment by the Russian army.
A rare testimony shown while hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers entrenched in the Azovstal steelworks (the last pocket of resistance in Mariupol against the Russian army) are in the process of surrendering.
Mantas Kvedaravicius had already shot a first film in Mariupol, during the Donbass war. He had returned there, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February, “to find the people he had met and filmed between 2014 and 2015“.
Mariupolis 2 will be screened on Thursday May 19 at 11:30 a.m. Directed by the Lithuanian Mantas Kvedaravičius, assassinated by the Russian army at the beginning of April in Mariupol, the images collected by Hanna Bilobrova celebrate the life which continues under the bombs. #Cannes2022
► https://t.co/omrNR3Ismo pic.twitter.com/LfsDtAP7XW
— Cannes Film Festival (@Festival_Cannes) May 12, 2022
Without voiceover or music, this new documentary alternates between long shots showing landscapes of desolation and scenes of the daily life of inhabitants trying to survive, some refugees in the basement of a church. The film shows them taking the air, cooking or attempting expeditions in destroyed neighborhoods to recover food or objects such as an electricity generator. The sounds of gunfire and bombardments are incessant during the 1 hour and 45 minutes of the film.
If death is not very present on the screen, in one scene, a man in the basement of the church evokes the “theater”, in which women and children had sheltered before being bombarded in March , and the fate of the Azovstal site.
The film was added at the last minute by the organizers of the Festival, who had promised a 75th edition where Ukraine would be “in everyone’s mind” and already marked during the opening ceremony by the intervention, from kyiv, of the president and former actor Volodymyr Zelensky.
After the documentary filmmaker’s death, confirmed in early April, “his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova, who accompanied him, was able to bring back the images shot there and put them together with Dounia Sichov, the editor of Mantas“, specified the Festival.
“Our future depends on cinema.” The strong words of Volodymyr Zelensky during the Opening Ceremony of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
“Our future depends on cinema.” The strong speech of Volodymyr Zelensky during the Opening Ceremony of #Cannes2022 pic.twitter.com/DoT8TYIVAu
— Cannes Film Festival (@Festival_Cannes) May 17, 2022
Ukraine will be present through other directors from this country: The Natural History of Destruction by the regular Sergei Loznitsa, on the destruction of German cities by the Allies during the Second World War (in special screening) and two first films: Butterfly Visions by Maksim Nakonechnyi (Un Certain Regard) and Pamfir (Directors’ Fortnight) by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk.