The 19th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will once again feature a number of poignant and inspiring stories. We now recommend four films that present major Eastern European artists.
Leonid Burlaka was a renowned Soviet cinematographer working at the Odessa Film Studios and on films such as Faithfulness, whose director Pyotr Todorovsky won the best first director award at the 1965 Venice Film Festival. His grandson, the Ukrainian Ihor, has the same profession. Ihor accidentally finds his grandfather’s damaged photo archive, but in the meantime, Leonid is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Saving findings among the damaged, unrecognizable photographs and lost, fragmented memories from the Soviet Union in the 1960s.
Another famous Eastern European film director, Lithuanian Jonas Mekas, documented his own life in his diary films. After emigrating to the United States in 1949, he spent the rest of his life dealing with the loss of his homeland. But for Mekas, beauty always shines through trauma (as in his film As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty from 2000), and the Fragments of Paradise features excerpts from never-before-seen tapes and unpublished audio recordings.
As a writer, poet, and artist, Lajos Kassák is one of the most significant figures of twentieth-century Hungarian art. He was also a controversial figure who went his own way and therefore quarreled with many people. He did not really belong anywhere, but he sincerely believed in the power of art to shape society. What is his legacy, what can he tell us? The film seeks answers to Kassák’s dilemmas from the perspective of Hungarian and Slovak artists.
Kyiv-based architect Florian Yuriev designed together with Lev Novikov one of the most iconic buildings in the Ukrainian capital, the Ukrainian Institute of Science and Technology—which we already wrote about here. Fifty years later, on Florian’s 90th birthday, the building, which was inaugurated in 1971, was rented out by the city to a real estate developer who wants to turn it into a shopping center. The architect is not letting this go. The film also shows the other sides of Florian, who has painted, composed music, and made films, many of which are being shown for the first time. A portrait of an exceptional and outstanding artist.
19th Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
8-20 November 2022
Detailed program and more information: verzio.org