Cinema programming opens up the horizons of a rich, incendiary and intense week, with a masterpiece by Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa (Babi Yar. Context), a subtle variation by Emmanuel Moret on the pains of love and the many frequencies of love (Proceedings of a temporary connection), A sexual political ballet inside a fire station (phosphorescent light hovering or floating in the night on the swampy ground). Deaf dialogue.
And finally the chance to see for the last time Jean-Luc Godard, who died on Tuesday 13 September at the age of 91, in a documentary, See you Friday Robinson, The Swiss filmmaker talks from afar with Iranian director Ibrahim Golestan.
“Babi Yar. Context “: in the dark memory of Ukraine
Babi Yar, evil memory. Since the Nazi occupation, this place has become a symbol of the extermination of Jews in Ukraine, during what historians have called the “Holocaust with bullets.” This is the face of the genocide of the Jews in the East. The Nazis shoot methodically, and the corpses are piled in heaps in the pits, which are then covered with earth or lime. One and a half million Jews succumbed to the mass killing, which was carried out on nearly five hundred listed sites. On September 29 and 30, 1941, executed in small groups, 33,771 of them were men, women, old people and children, who left their lives in the Babi Yar valley, northwest of Kyiv.
This chapter is the burning heart of Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa’s film. As its title suggests, Babi Yar. Context It is taken at the same time in a more general framework, evoking the situation in Ukraine during World War II. It is a montage film devoid of commentary and interviews, illustrating the chronological geography of events with brief cartoons, and working discreetly on the soundtrack to mitigate the specific divergent effect of the archive and to make the film more present in our consciousness.
This intervention style, its dramatic structure, and the choice and succession of images that compose it, make it an exceptional work. Because the film brings back to us, in its depth and complexity, the contemporary history of Ukraine, a valuable reminder given the current tragic situation in this country. Because he offers us a wonderful reflection on the images, despite the use of the archives of Nazi and Soviet propaganda, the director manages, precisely through his art of editing, to deactivate his ideology in favor of a story that allows us to understand it. Jack Mandelbaum
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