Country Focus: UKRAINE – BABYLON’13

„Documentary is a tool that is able to change people’s perception of reality.“ (Babylon’13)

„You have to understand: this is not just about conveying information, it’s about survival. To survive a situation, to overcome it, you need to be able to grasp it intellectually. We want to show not just what is happening, but what it means. During the Maidan, there was a huge leap in consciousness in Ukraine. Now there is a similar leap, and we want to be a part of that consciousness-shifting process.“
(Volodymyr Tykhyy, founding member of BABYLON’13)

Solidarity Film Screening: BABYLON’13
friday 7 oct 7.30 p.m. werkstattkino | admission: 10 Euro
guest: Mila Zhluktenko

Babylon’13 – Cinema of Civil Society. Since the “Revolution of Dignity” on Maidan Square, the Ukrainian documentary collective has been creating activist and essayistic films for the civil struggle for democracy.

Splinters of Filming. Short snapshots and news on Instagram, longer videos on the Youtube-Channel show documentary splinters of the movement of civil resistance. In addition to activist and agit-prop videos, the multi-perspective film collective Babylon’13 also creates reflective essays. A feature length documentary is currently in post-production.

Mosaic. Portraits of train drivers or artists, conversations with Roma refugees or the staff of the Kiev Zoo who stay to take care of the animals. Accounts of volunteers preparing cities for bombings or invasions, and documentation of the destruction in places like Borodyanka, Bucha, and Irpin. The short film program compiled for UNDERDOX bears witness to a broken world as a mosaic of film splinters in multiple perspectives.

Solidarity. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression on February 24, 2022, Mila Zhluktenko (HFF Munich), a documentary filmmaker from Ukraine, has been engaged in an unprecedented fundraising campaign to raise funds for film equipment for the activist filmmakers in Ukraine and. She curated the short film program for UNDERDOX.
The entrance fee is entirely donated to Babylon’13

Background information on Babylon’13. “Ukraine’s Babylon’13 Collective: An Interview with Volodymyr Tykhyy”, published in Film Quaterly, Mai 2022

Statement by Mila Zhluktenko, curator and editor at Babylon’13.

“‘Ukrainian culture must be visible, Ukrainian voice must be heard now. Because if we don’t have culture, we don’t know what we are fighting for.’ This was recently said by the Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan at a concert in Munich. For a long time the other countries have looked past us, the Ukrainians. Now is the time to be loud. And now is the time to support and promote Ukrainian culture.
As a filmmaker, I admire Babylon’13’s democratic approach to making their films available to everybody. The selection made can be only a splinter of the wide range of Babylon’13 filmmaking. With the selection I want to provide the broadest possible insight into the work of the collective during the war, in order to come into exchange with the audience about it.”
– Mila Zhluktenko

Film splinters (total length appr. 75 min)

Manifesto (1 min)
2014, a cinematic manifesto on the Maidan.

This is our monuments (3:45 min)
2022, In Kyiv, the city residents cover the monuments to protect them from destruction. 

Kyiv. The day of railway station (3 min)

Shporik (8 min)
Ukrainian artists do their bit for the war, making small, portable stoves.

Drohobych volunteers (11 min)
– How many people volunteer in Drohobych?
– Everyone.
We accompany the mayor of Drohobych as he visits the city’s myriad volunteer projects.

Фортеця Маріуполь. Останній день на Азовсталі (4:40 min)
The last day of the Azov Battalion at the Azovstal Steelworks.

Ірпінь, 05.03.2022. Евакуація мирних жителів (2:45 min)
Irpin. Evacuation of the civilian population.

Who is Putin? A train from Sloviansk to Uzhhorod (22:15 min)
A whole evacuation train ride from east to west through the whole Ukraine.

“We’ve stolen the tank; we will steal Putin as well!” (10 min)
The Ukrainian Roma tell about their experiences in the war.

Foreigners flee Ukraine (5 min)
We hear the impressions of foreigners leaving at the beginning of the war.

Freedom is in our hands. Peaceful Ukrainians resist Russian occupants (3 min)

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