On January 28, the winners of the Sundance International Independent Film Festival were announced. Among the winners is the Ukrainian documentary The Porcelain War, which won the highest award in the US documentary competition.
This was reported on the festival’s Instagram page.
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The Ukrainian documentary film Porcelain War tells the story of three Ukrainian artists, Slava Leontiev, his wife Anya Stasenko and Andriy Stefanov, who stayed in the frontline city of Kharkiv, which has been under constant rocket fire and bombardment since the first day of the full-scale invasion. The film tells about the lives of the craftsmen who stay in the city, fighting the enemy (Slava serves in the Armed Forces) not only with weapons but also with art, creating porcelain and decorating destroyed houses with it.
“It is necessary to resist totalitarian aggression, but to preserve one’s humanity in the face of onslaught is the main pursuit of good. The creation of this film, full of pathos and violence, of porcini mushrooms and dragons, is itself this pursuit. For his unwavering voice from inside the brutal war in Ukraine, calling us to care about those who would sacrifice their lives to protect theirs and our humanity,” the jury members said in a statement.
The film was directed by the American Brendan Bellomo and the film’s protagonist Slava Leontiev. Cinematographer: Andriy Stefanov.
“That’s what we’re fighting for – for our culture to continue to exist, for our art to continue to exist, for Ukraine to continue to exist, and that’s what we’re fighting for, and I think we’re doing a good job. So our fighters in the Saigon unit, they are all civilians in real life. All of them have civilian professions, and none of them will stay in the army for a single extra minute after the war. Yes, that’s what I love about porcelain, and that’s what I love about Ukraine – you can break us, but you can’t destroy us,” Slava Leontiev told Deadline.